How does the misfit's quote tie in with the name of the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find"?The misfit says that the grandmother "would of been a good woman if it had been somebody...

How does the misfit's quote tie in with the name of the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find"?

The misfit says that the grandmother "would of been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life".  What does he mean?  What is O'Connor implying about humans in general?  And how does it tie in with the name of short story?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Flannery O'Connor is implying that, human nature being what it is, people are only good when they are made to be good; they respond only when there is a threat of immediate consequences.  The grandmother in the story is consistently arrogant and self-centered in her actions. It is only at the end of the story, when she is faced with the threat of death, that she finds a nobler side of her nature, humbly coming to the realization of her place in relation with all of mankind.  The grandmother is a better person at this moment, and the misfit ironically notes that, "if there had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life", she could have lived her whole life this way.

O'Connor is implying that, like the grandmother, humans in general are only good when someone or something makes them be.  As soon as the threat of punishment is gone, humans tend to go back to following their baser inclinations.  As the title of the story proclaims, a "good man", one who is good for goodness' sake, and consistently lives up to high standards even when no one is looking or there is no threat of negative consequences, is indeed very "hard to find".

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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