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What are the two main epiphanies in "A Good Man is Hard to Find?"

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mkt2745 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 30, 2009 at 9:51 AM via web

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What are the two main epiphanies in "A Good Man is Hard to Find?"

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mr-robitaille | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 1, 2009 at 3:56 AM (Answer #1)

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The story's main epiphany occurs when the Grandmother has her first unselfish thought in the story, causing her to make a real human connection. At this moment, she says to the Misfit:

"Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!"

This emotional reaction to the Misfit's story stands in stark contrast to her attitudes throughout the rest of the story. She has shown herself to be self centered, elitist, and racist. Her stubbornness and belligerence have actually landed her family in their current predicament. This moment of religious conversion, however, also leads to her immediate death, when she touches the Misfit and gets shot three times through the chest.

The story's second epiphany could be said to come from the Misfit himself. After shooting the Grandmother, he concludes that there is "no real pleasure in life." This stands in contrast to his earlier mentality, that the only pleasure to be had was "meanness."

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lorinamallmon | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 9, 2009 at 7:33 AM (Answer #2)

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The grandmother is thew main character and it is ironic that she rtries to gain respect and evryone ignores her except the children and they are ryude an ignoorant and I believe that the grandmother insisting on having her way is what got the family in trouble.  If she had just sat back and enjoyed the ride and keep her mouth shut they may not have gotten in the situation that was the demise of the whole family except the cat!

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