Cause and Effect
Everything has a cause and an effect rather we like it or not. When we make decision in life about anything, there is always an outcome even if it is good or bad or even right or wrong. We cannot control these outcomes rather we agree or disagree with our decisions we make. During the short story of A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery OConnor has written that Much of my fiction takes its character from a reasonable use of the unreasonable. The two main characters are behind the reasonable use of the unreasonable by explaining why The Misfit and the grandmother took the actions that they did.
In the beginning of this short story, the grandmother did not want to go to Florida because she wanted to visit some of her connections in Tennessee. So she tries to convince the father to go to Tennessee instead of Florida. She does this by showing Bailey, the father, that the criminal named The Misfit is heading towards Florida according to the Journal newspaper and they should be heading the opposite way of this dangerous criminal. The grandmother shows Bailey her proof that they would have better luck going the other way, Here this fellow that call himself the Misfit is aloose from the federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what is says he did to these people. Just read it. I wouldnt take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldnt answer to my conscience if I did (OConnor 1194). The grandmother continued to rumble on about how the children been to Florida before and the children need to venture off to somewhere they have not seen before like Tennessee. For the grandmother it was unreasonable and reasonable at the same time. It was unreasonable because she was being selfish and she just wanted it her way and nothing else. The family already decided where they wanted to go and she just wants to change their plans at the last minute. It was also reasonable because she had evidence that The Misfit might be heading to Florida where they originally wanted to go and that they should go the opposite way. During the whole duration of this story she convinces the family why they should not go to Florida and they should do whatever she wanted instead.
When they were leaving to go on their trip towards Florida, the grandmother was the first one to be packed and ready also the first one to get into the vehicle. She also brought the cat along with her because she did not want to leave the cat home alone for three days. Towards the middle of the story the cat is the cause of the car accident and without that cat being there, they would have never gotten into this accident. She was hiding the cat because Bailey did not want her to bring it along with them. The instant the valise moved, the newspaper top she had over the basket under it rose with a snarl and Pitty Sing, the cat, sprang onto Baileys shoulder (OConnor 1199). The car turned over once and landed right-side-up in a gulch off the side of the road. Bailey remained in the drivers seat with the cat-gray-striped with a broad white face and an orange nose-clinging to his neck like a caterpillar (OConnor 1199). The grandmother did not want to leave the cat alone at home which was reasonable because no one was going to take care of the cat and feed it but it was unreasonable because the cat was the main reason of the accident.
After they had their accident, the grandmother tries to tell everybody that she thought she hurt an organ but nobody paid any attention to her. So when everybody was trying to rest and just relax a little after the shock of the accident, she spots a car coming their way and she flags them down to try to get some help. She ends up getting their attention and then the strangers stops for them. The family thought they finally got some help but later on we see that it is the complete opposite. It is always reasonable to ask for help when someone is in trouble without any help, but it was unreasonable that they got the attention of villains and never knew who was in the vehicle. Three males walked out their vehicle with guns and immediately the grandmother had a feeling that she knew the strangers from somewhere but she could not remember. The grandmother shrieked. She scrambled to her feet and stood staring, Youre The Misfit! she said. I recognized you at once! (OConnor 1200). After this all took place, the family was worried and even more troubled then before. Right away the grandmother tries to plead for her life saying Listen, the grandmother almost screamed, I know youre a good man. You dont look a bit like you have common blood. I know you must come from nice people! (OConnor 1200) When she is busy trying to plead for her life, her family, one by one, are getting killed by The Misfits two other partners and it was unreasonable that they were all killed. That was the most unreasonable thing that happened in this entire story. The family never did anything to the criminals. They are innocent people that just so happen that The Misfit saw on the side of the road in need of help. The family did not deserve to die.
Throughout the whole story the grandmother was so selfish but when her life is on the line, everything changes. According to The Misfit he tells her a story of why he was thrown in jail for no reason and the police thought he murdered his father when his father had the flu and he died from that. When the grandmother is trying to talk to The Misfit, she talks about prayer and asks him if he prays, and he replies no. She asks him why he does not. When she tells him Jesus would help him he agreed. She was confused why he did not pray then. He says that he does not want any help and he is doing just fine on his own. He goes on saying that Jesus has thrown everything off balance and he was innocent just like Jesus. Jesus never committed any crime but somehow they got The Misfit on paper saying that he did kill his father and he never got his chance to prove them wrong (OConnor 1202-1203). This is reasonable for The Misfit because when he did pray, he never got the answer he was hoping to get. He was an innocent man and nobody knew that but him and God and not even God help him out. On the other hand it is unreasonable for him to go around murdering innocent people when one is robbed of his or her freedom without proper representation.
OConnor often finds herself using reasonable use of the unreasonable in her short story A Good Man is Hard to Find. The Misfit and the grandmother are most caught with these actions. We find in this story that there are always consequences for all action taken place no matter if it is good or bad or even right or wrong.
OConnor, Flannery. A Good Man is Hard to Find. Exploring Literature: Writing and Arguing About Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. Ed. Frank Madden. 3rd ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 1194-1204.