The Importance of Knowledge in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” and Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
The purpose of this essay is to analyze the connection of a quote to three short stories: “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. This quote has relevance in all three tales.
The quote is as follows:
“She would of been a good woman,” The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”
2. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
In “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” the grandmother is a prime example of someone who needs to be shot every minute of her life. She is self-centered, hypocritical, and ignorant. The grandmother also represents the false idea that knowledge is power. She thinks that because she knows more than her family, she is better than them. However, the reality is that her knowledge is useless because it does not reflect the true social reality. It only reflects her own traditional morality, which is no longer relevant in the modern world.
The grandmother’s biggest flaw is her hypocrisy. She constantly lectures her family about being moral, but she herself is not moral. For example, she talks about how adultery is a sin, but she has committed adultery herself. She also talks about how God is love, but she does not show any love towards her family. In fact, she shows more concern for her cat than she does for her own grandchildren.
The grandmother’s ignorance is also evident in the story. She does not realize that the world has changed and that her traditional values are no longer relevant. For example, she does not realize that her grandson has been kidnapped until it is too late. She also does not realize that the man she thought was a good man is actually a serial killer.
3. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
In “The Lottery,” the idea that knowledge is power is relevant again. However, this time it is the villagers who are ignorant and need to be taught a lesson. They have blindly followed the tradition of the lottery for years without question and without understanding its true meaning.
The lottery itself is a perfect example of how tradition can be harmful if it is not understood. The villagers do not realize that they are sacrificing one person each year to appease the gods. They think that they are doing something good for their community when in reality they are committing murder.
4. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
In “The Story of an Hour,” the main character Louise Mallard learns that her husband has died in a train accident. At first, she grieves for him and feels sorry for herself. However, after some time has passed, Louise begins to feel excited about her new life without her husband. She realizes that she is now free from the oppression of marriage and can live her life however she wants to.
While Louise’s feelings may seem callous at first, they are actually very understandable given her situation. Her husband was not a good man; he was controlling and restrictive. He did not allow Louise to have any independence or freedom. In contrast, Louise’s new life without her husband is full of possibilities. She can now do what she wants, when she wants, and with whom she wants.
The quote “She would of been a good woman,” The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.” is relevant to all three stories. In each story, the main character is ignorant of the true nature of their reality and needs to be taught a lesson. Whether it is the grandmother in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” the villagers in “The Lottery,” or Louise Mallard in “The Story of an Hour,” all three characters need to be given a wake-up call. They need to be shown that their knowledge is power and that they need to use it to change their reality for the better.