“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (O’Connor) Is Concentrated on Traditionalism

“The Death of Tommy Grimes” is a more successful and compelling piece of literature than “A Great Male is Difficult to Discover”. Both stories concentrate on traditionalism, humanity in times of death and responsibility. However, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is much more effective due to its efficient use of characterization, environment and the grotesque. “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is clearly the exceptional piece of art.

Both “An Excellent Man is Hard to Find” and “The Death of Tommy Grimes” focus intently on tradition’s effects on society through using characterization, but “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is much more effective in delivering its message.

“An Excellent Male is Hard to Discover” uses the younger generations along with the older generations of the family (from grandparents to kids) to depict a decrease in ethical stability and Christian beliefs; an example of how custom, suggested to maintain these beliefs and morals, can be easily corrupted. “The Death of Tommy Grimes” communicates this exact same message through the strictly traditionalist character of the daddy, whose bigotry is revealed to be incredibly harmful to our society.

Since of his unquestioning belief in racist customs, he has influenced his own son to follow the racist propensities common in the South during their time. “A Great Guy is Hard to Discover” is very subtle in its anti-traditionalist message, its most efficient example being a subtle allusion to a lurking evil in the extremely conventional character of the grandmother, showing the fact that personal flaws are frequently disguised by a strong belief in the values of tradition.

Her abuse of her Christian custom is given attention through the words of the Misfit: “‘She would have been an excellent woman,’ the Misfit stated, ‘if it had actually been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.'(O’Connor 11)” “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is much more uncomplicated in its anti-traditionalist message, emphasizing its stance through the incredibly blunt words of the dad: “‘Boys, I wan na inform you my boy ended up being a guy today. Yessir, killed his very first n **** r.’ (Meaddough 413)” The kid then belongs to their paradoxically infantile world of males, and is taken as one of their own by the bar’s stereotypically racist Southerners. This message is condensed to fit the last page of the story, leaving the message brief but likewise driving its point across in a manner that is extremely hard to miss out on. For this reason, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is the much better of the 2 stories in regards to accomplishing its task. “An Excellent Man is Hard to Find” utilizes the characters of the kids to show its views on tradition’s dangerous effects as it is given and either mutilated or ignored throughout numerous generations.

The kids’s rudeness and apathy for the wellness of others is a hard-hitting example of the nature of immorality. “The Death of Tommy Grimes” not only uses the character of the daddy as an example in its pro-traditionalist message, it also preserves the father as a fully needed and functional three-dimensional character throughout the story. Although “A Good Male is Tough to Discover” would operate as a story without the addition of the kids, it is simple to see that their primary function in the story is to reveal the damage caused by a lack of morals. However, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” uses its characters to their max potential, again easing its success in delivering its message of anti-traditionalism. For these reasons, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” transcends to “A Good Guy is Difficult to Find” in interacting its message on traditionalism through the use of characterization.

“The Death of Tommy Grimes” and “An Excellent Guy is Tough to Discover” both utilize their atmosphere to portray human nature throughout times of death; however, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is far more successful since it does so without eliminating from other aspects of the story. Throughout “The Death of Tommy Grimes”, the boy’s fear of killing and the dad’s repeated usage of the word “dollar” without straight referring to a deer offers a strong aura that something is not as it appears on the surface. Although the foreshadowing is not direct, a sense of agitation and an aura of evil are emitted, imbuing the story with a dark and foreboding environment. “A Great Man is Hard to Find” gives numerous direct referrals to The Misfit and his wicked methods throughout the story, and describes him in such a way that there would be no logical explanation for his inclusion in the story were he not to interfere straight with the affairs of the family.

This use of foreshadowing is too direct, and although it definitely adds to the atmospheric uneasiness, it likewise exposes parts of the story too early on, leaving practically nothing to the imagination. Both of these atmospheric gadgets cause a climax in which death is extremely clearly present. Both stories likewise contain both metaphorical and literal deaths; “The Death of Tommy Grimes” consisting of the literal death of the sickeningly dehumanized prey and the metaphorical death of Tommy in his passage into “manhood”, and “A Great Man is Difficult to Find” portraying the gruesome deaths of the members of the family as well as the internal death of the Misfit who has been metaphorically eliminated by the society that has mutilated his life. This change in both stories from seemingly typical occasions into situations where death is present in numerous methods adds to the atmosphere, which shifts from light to dark quite quickly.

Nevertheless, “An Excellent Guy is Difficult to Find” becomes slightly pompous after its dark atmosphere has settled in, relying on a long and impractical dialogue between the granny and the Misfit, a device that is apparently present just in order to permit O’Connor to communicate her views on the granny’s selfishness in death, a message which was mysteriously absent throughout the beginning of the story, without even an allusion or foreshadowing to suggest that this message is the true theme of the story. This dialogue really diminishes the atmosphere of the story by being too obvious in its effort to redeem the story as a social commentary:

“I wasn’t there, so I can’t state (Christ) didn’t (raise the dead),” The Misfit stated. “I wisht I had actually of existed,” he stated, striking the ground with his fist. “It ain’t best I wasn’t there since if I had actually of existed I would of known and I would not resemble I am now.” His voice appeared about to split and the grandmother’s head cleared for an instant … “Why you’re one of my babies. You are among my own children!” (O’Connor 11)

Although both “An Excellent Man is Hard to Discover” and “The Death of Tommy Grimes” successfully reveal human nature during times of death through their use of environment, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is plainly more efficient due to the fact that it discovers a method to do so without detracting from other elements of the story.

“A Great Man is Difficult to Discover” and “The Death of Tommy Grimes” both deal with the issue of commitment through using the monstrous, but “The Death of Tommy Grimes” gives an example much better matched to accomplishing its objective. “A Good Male is Difficult to Discover” shows the granny’s belief that both her children and grandchildren hold a strong obligation to her, as though the mere fact that they come from her lineage means they have inherited a financial obligation of obedience. However, at the very same time she reveals no commitment whatsoever to her family during a time of severe desperation, selecting merely to continue having a hard time for her own life rather than making any effort to conserve those around her. Although she calls out the name of her son, she makes no attempt to discourage the Misfit from eliminating his other half or daughter, nor does she give any acknowledgment to the truth that her grandson has actually likewise been eliminated.

This shows an extremely confused and selfish sense of commitment, a willingness to receive but not to provide. “The Death of Tommy Grimes” explores what is arguably a lot more grotesque example in order to show the possible defects in obligation. The son’s strict dedication to his father leads a young boy who might when not bring himself to take the life of a little animal to adequately change his mind to a point at which he might bring himself to shoot a person. His views of his daddy as being a role model in his life leads to his inescapable individual death, requiring him to abandon his morals in favor of his obligation to his daddy:

And he however how it must be for Pa when the other man bragged about their boys, and him so scared to eliminate a weasel, and he knew what he needed to do. “Pa,” he murmered, “believe perhaps I could go a time at that old dollar?” (Meaddough 409)

The boy feels, as many kids do, a natural obligation to his father, and this obligation enables him to demoralize himself and to dehumanize another male, succumbing to bigotry and evil. Although both stories are really effective in using the monstrous to represent the perils of responsibility, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” uses an example that is unveiled more suddenly and also more callously. Rather than showing any one character as having a genuinely challenging time managing the awful nature of the occurrence, it represents the racist guys as encouraging and applauding the activity, and the kid as catching the beliefs of these guys and re-evaluating his actions as being nearly appropriate.

It demonstrates that the monstrous can be normalized through a strong adequate feeling of obligation. Although “A Great Male is Hard to Discover” likewise shows a passiveness towards the grotesque in the character of the Misfit, it reveals reasons for his passiveness through his tough and struggling past. On the other hand, Tommy Grimes has been raised in a reasonably “regular” and “delighted” upbringing (his daddy’s racism being the one failure that is discussed). It is due to the fact that of this approval of such a dreadful incident that “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is the more effective of the 2 stories in representing its message on commitment through using the monstrous.

Although “The Death of Tommy Grimes” and “A Great Guy is Tough to Discover” plainly share much in typical, it is obvious that “The Death of Tommy Grimes” is the far exceptional story. Throughout the stories’ typical styles of traditionalism, humanity in times of death, and obligation, “The Death of Tommy Grimes” maintains more well-supported, believable and well-communicated messages than “A Good Guy is Difficult to Discover”. Its characterization, atmosphere and usage of the grotesque are crucial to its success, and Meaddough demonstrates a proficiency in using these literary methods exceptional to O’Connor. “The Death of Tommy Grimes” dominates a “A Great Male is Tough to Discover” in many methods, and is an even more effective and effective piece of literature.

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