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Essay on A Good Man is Hard to Find

Virtue and “the grandmother” If you were to ask someone what their definition of a happy life would be, they would probably give you an answer like, “having fun.” This is completely untrue in Aristotle’s terms. According to Aristotle, for a man to lead a happy life he must learn each of the intellectual virtues, and practice each of the moral virtues throughout his life. These moral virtues are justice, courage, temperance, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, gentleness, prudence, and wisdom. With so many virtues to constantly abide by, a man cannot know if he has led a happy life until his life is nearly finished. In the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” by Flannery O’ Connor, the question is raised whether the grandmother has achieved a state of happiness according to Aristotle’s terms at the time of her death. The answer is no, because she is a person who is dishonest, cowardly, and unwise. Of all the virtues, honesty is practiced the least by the grandmother. Honesty is defined as “The capacity or condition of being honest; integrity; trustworthiness” (Honesty). There are several examples of the grandmother’s dishonest and untrustworthy actions. In the beginning of the story, “The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida” (O’ Connor 1106), so she made up false excuses to try to persuade her family to take her to Tennessee. “‘[…] [T]his fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida […]. […] I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it’” (O’ Connor 1106). On the way to Florida, the grandmother notices an old house she visited as a child. When she wants to stop and re-visit the house, the grandmother tells the children, “‘There was a secret panel in this house’ […] not tel...

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