Egotistical Nightmare in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay

John Steinbeck once wrote that, “for the most part people are not curious except about themselves.” This describes various characters in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” almost perfectly. These characters focus on themselves more than anyone else and form beliefs, on which they live by, based off of it. It is uncommon to find positive outcomes following an egotistical action or belief, and this short story proves just that. Thus, throughout this story, the various characters’ egocentric beliefs meet with negative consequences.Red Sammy believes that he is one of the only good men left in the world, he even remarks on how “a good man is hard to find.” (O’Connor). This causes him to trust people more than he because he believes that since he is one of the good men left in the world, no one would do intentional harm to him. His wife, on the other hand, does not have the same view; she believes that there “isn’t a soul in this green world of God’s that you can trust.” (O’Connor 39). This possible want to prove his wife wrong, along with his egocentric belief that no one would intend harm on him, is what pushes him to trust strangers. In his view, it’s a test to see if they are good people; however, it almost always ends in a negative consequence for him. For example, Red Sammy owns “part stucco and part wood filling station and dance hall set” (O’Connor 27) called The Tower and he was jibbed by two men because he thought they looked like decent people and were responsible, all because they said they worked at the mill and that they we’re driving a beat-up Chevy truck (O’Connor 36). His egocentric belief that no one will jib him causes just that to happen, thus proving that his egocentric belief leads to negative con…

… of the family, which caused her to look foolish because she ended up sitting crossed legged, in a pool of her blood, in a ditch, looking up at the sky, smiling: (O’Connor 136-137) an image that will surely haunt him as he lives.Egocentric beliefs caused a great deal of pain and, of course, negative consequences to the characters that held them in “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” From murdering and causing pain because one’s egocentric belief caused them to adopt “no pleasure but meanness” (O’Connor 134) as a life motto, to being jibbed out of hard earned money, negative consequences followed these egocentric belief holders like a dark cloud. Fortunately for two characters, their belief did not end with themselves and their loved ones dying like the grandmother’s did. However, they would all live better lives if they left their egocentric beliefs behind them.

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