From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Good Man is Hard to Find

A Good Man is Hard to Find


by Flannery O'Connor

A Good Man is Hard to Find Theme of Religion

The central confrontation between the grandmother and The Misfit in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" revolves around Jesus. The grandmother brings up praying to Jesus in the hope that she can induce The Misfit to spare her life by appealing to his religious sense. It turns out, however, that The Misfit has probably thought about Jesus more seriously than she has. The Misfit's doubt in Jesus leads him to think that there is no real right or wrong, and no ultimate point to life. At the story's climax, the grandmother appears to receive a moment of divine grace, which might transform her and The Misfit. How this ending is understood is the major question of the story.

Questions About Religion

  1. Is the grandmother a real religious believer? Does she have genuine faith? What evidence can you find either way?
  2. Does The Misfit believe in Jesus? If he does, to what degree? If not, why not?
  3. Between The Misfit and the grandmother, who seems to have a more solid foundation in faith?
  4. Why would The Misfit attach so much importance to the question of whether Jesus did what he's supposed to have done? Why is this an all-or-nothing question for him?
  5. Is the grandmother's "moment of grace" a genuine moment of grace? What evidence do you see either way?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The grandmother never took her religious faith seriously.

The grandmother's final gesture is a genuine moment of grace.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...