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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

by Flannery O’Connor

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Identify a simile that supports the theme of good versus evil in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find."

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A simile that supports the theme of good vs evil in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is when O'Connor tells us that the mother's face is "as broad and innocent as a cabbage."

As in the case of the grandmother, we're dealing with innocence here, which highlights the relative goodness of the family in comparison with the Misfit, who's the living embodiment of evil.

It's important to understand here that in a struggle between good and evil, the forces of good don't have to be saints. They can consist of perfectly normal, everyday folk with plenty of foibles and character defects. And that's certainly the case in the story, especially in relation to the grandmother, an unpleasant, opinionated woman who's nonetheless the epitome of goodness compared to the crazed, psychotic killer that is the Misfit.

It's notable that O'Connor's depiction of the mother also refers to the handkerchief tied around her head as having two points on the top like rabbit ears. This adds to the sense of innocence about her, as animals are themselves wholly innocent of any evil. Unlike the Misfit, they kill because they have to, either for food or in self-defense.

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