Is there a way to compare and contrast "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (O'Connor) & "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" (Le Guin)?I am comparing and contrasting the THEMES of these stories.

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Stephanie Gregg eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, let me compliment you on a challenging and engaging topic.  I had to think on this one for a bit.  One approach is to compare the idea of sacrificial suffering, of the detriment of the few for the greater good.  The child in "Omelas" can be compared and contrasted with the Misfit in "Good Man."  Both have been caged, the child in the basement and the Misfit in jail, for ambiguous reasons.  The child seems to have been chosen at random while the Misfit can not recall why he was sent to prison.  For those citizens of Omelas who go to see the child, a handful choose to walk away from the city upon realizing the sacrifice their utopia requires.  The Misfit sends Grandmother's family to walk into the woods in two groups to be killed. When the Misfit says that Grandmother "would of been a good woman ... if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life," he introduces another theme--the thought that anyone can become morally upstanding in the face of imminent death.  Just as Grandmother faces the Misfit, those in Omelas face the child and know that his/her death is what gives them life.  Some choose to accept this grace provided by one who is innocent; others walk away. Grandmother realizes in the moments before her death that she can offer grace to the Misfit because he, like all humankind, is one of God's children. 

Hope this helps.  You've got a tough topic!

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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