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The Human Condition In “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” And “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”

1293 words - 6 pages

The human condition is understood as the result of a fall from a potential or primordial state of grace or as a deviation from humanity's original purpose. It is often characterized by pain, conflict, frustration or vain striving like in “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” (Bessie Head) but also by contradiction of a person’s true purpose as ordained by divine principles like in “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” (Flannery O’Connor). Although the human condition of the main characters is a little bit abstract, the scenes we are treating reveals how deep and intense the characters will manifest their primordial state of grace, confronting each other in both stories.
In “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” ...view middle of the document...

She thinks that she can convert the “bad guy’s” thoughts with her beliefs based upon religion in order to survive and to make him a better man, but it doesn’t work. “She wanted to tell him that he must pray” (p. 271), “Finally she found herself saying, ‘Jesus, Jesus,’ meaning Jesus will help you” (p. 272). Although his ways are unethical according to the tradition, the so-called Misfit still seems to find himself or his thoughts. Maybe he was looking for a final answer that only the grandmother could have in this context based upon faith or belief, otherwise he wouldn’t waste his time talking to her. “I wish I had been there, he said, hitting the ground with his fists…” (p. 272), “she should of been a good woman…” (p. 273). The “old lady” appears as a week person for the first time when she finds herself dizzy and confused about Jesus raising the dead. And that’s where she looses the battle, causing her death as well. “Maybe He didn’t raise the dead, the old lady mumbled, not knowing what she was saying…” (p. 272).
Finally, the battle stays a mystery because her death might have been planned under a foreshadow “gone with the wind” that reminds us that will be turned into dust (in the Bible), whereas at the final end “… like a child’s and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky” (p. 273) the Author suggest that she’s a new person or maybe has a new chance compared to the misfit who lost his faith because “we pay for our sins” and didn’t have a second chance; Therefore, he might’ve not won the war.
In “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” the protagonist Brille is presented as a smart former teacher, father of twelve out of control children. A perceptive self reflected man who is considered to be a political prisoner, because of his belief based upon his own ideology (related to the apartheid) “they felt no guilt nor were they outcasts of society” (p. 668), the fact that he could commit survival crimes in prison in order to “survive” or because he knows how to defeat someone psychologically. “He was to be the boogey-man and when it worked … his presence could change savages into fairly reasonable human beings” (p. 669). The advantage is that political prisoners are psychologically strong enough to handle physical pressures in every aspect in a society. Hannetjie is the new chief official in charge of the prison (the ten Span One prisoners), not really smart, introduced as a racist and frightening man “primitive, brutal soul gazed out of them”, “Look’ere, he said....

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