Samples Literature Two Versions of “A Good Man is Hard to Find”: A Comparison & Contrast

Two Versions of “A Good Man is Hard to Find”: A Comparison & Contrast

1210 words 5 page(s)

The story about a family which fell victim to an escaped criminal is greater than the simple sentence that summarizes it. There are two ways to enjoy the story. It can be a suspenseful thriller to read or a short video to view. Either way, there are some similarities and differences about each version. Both the written story and video paint a picture for the audience that clearly expresses the time period. The grandmother was extremely talkative to the point of being annoying. In addition, the general sequence of events was consistent among both versions. However, the vehicle incident (which preceded the deadly encounter with the Misfit) was explained in two different ways. Secondly, the written version gives more insight into the nature of the grandmother than the short film. While analyzing the characters, one in particular stands out the most because of his ambiguous actions. This story confirms the sentiments of the shop owner. He declared that no one can be trusted. Unfortunately, the grandmother didn’t heed those words of wisdom.

The story takes place at a time when it was perfectly acceptable to use racist terms like “Pickaninny” and “Negros”. References to plantations were made as well. This was a time when a meddling mother could go on running her mouth, dictating a family vacation and being a brat while her adult children felt they just had to tolerate it. Her attire as shown in the video was equally consistent with the written description of her clothing. Big funny hats, white gloves and long dresses were the fashion of her day. The grandmother (although she was introduced through her phone conversation as a Christian woman), was comfortably adorned in her racist and pushy ways. The grandmother’s son should have sprouted a spine and stood up to her. He gave into her demands when she wanted to revisit an old house and removed his family from their forward-moving travel route.

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Secondly, both the film and the video indicated that her racist terms were acceptable to use around the children. They were consistent in the portrayal of the time period. In both versions of the story, the Misfit claimed he didn’t know what he had done to end up in the penitentiary. Other consistencies include the fact that the family was on a long drive for a vacation, they stopped at a place where they could get refreshments and they had car trouble afterwards. The grandmother tried to get help by flagging down a nearby car. When a driver stopped and approached her, she boisterously identified the person as the Misfit. In both the written story and video, she tried to thrust her religion on the Misfit by coercing him to pray. She called out the name of Jesus as if she was convinced that making the Misfit reflect on Christ would keep him from hurting her family.

The differences are even more obvious than the similarities among these two story versions. The biggest difference between the way the film and written version tell the story is how their car trouble began. In the film, the family simply had a flat tire. The written story explained that the grandmother triggered an array of small events inside of the car that made her son flip the car over while he was driving. The car turned over into a ditch wherein wife and baby were thrust out of the front seat. The children in the back seat were launched to the front. The grandmother was also thrown forward. Everyone could have been killed in an instant. Instead, the wife suffered a broken limb. On the contrary, the video quickly showed the Misfit respond to the grandmother as she desperately sought help with a flat tire. Although the film offered the audience a shorter experience than the long story, it offered more insight into the grandmother’s personality. She was a church-going queen of gossip in the film. On the other hand, the author allowed the grandmother to spend more time spraying religious jargon to the Misfit before he murdered her. Finally, the film showed the Misfit offering the grandmother an opportunity to kill him first. He put her finger on the trigger and rested the front end of the gun on his forehead. In the story, he only pulled away from her outstretched arms and launched three bullets into her chest.

The most profound character in both versions of this story is the Misfit. He is amazing because he comes across so intellectual and yet he seems like a complete idiot in other ways. For instance, he claimed that he had no idea what he had done and how he ended up in prison. He even decided to document things so that he could never be wrongfully accused again. Yet, the film showed him murdering someone in quick bursts of footage. The film also indicated that he was terribly abused as a child. The written story did not indicate that he was a victim of abuse. The second foolish thing that the Misfit did was point the gun at his own head. It was almost as if he wanted to die or to give the grandmother a chance to avenge her murdered family. This was done after he showed no concern for having to run from the law for the rest of his life. He spoke as if he had no regard for Jesus Christ.

However, he was quick to advise the grandmother about how she should live based on the existence of Jesus Christ. Lastly, the Misfit spoke of himself as a man who has had a normal life. He shared typical childhood days and school boy events that would baffle anyone who tried to understand how he became a killer. Truthfully, the Misfit was not normal. Instead, he was psychotic and heartless. He had his buddy take the family out to the woods and murder them as if his conscience was perfectly at rest. Killing was just as normal to him as breathing. He spoke calmly with the grandmother like he was planting seeds in the ground. In reality, he was leaving innocent victims on the ground.

In conclusion, the Misfit was free from accountability every bit as much as the grandmother was drenched in fear. The grandmother could be blamed for enlisting her family in the avoidable danger by running her faucet of a mouth. She blurted out the Misfits name, repulsed him with religious talk and likely made him feel even more anxious to kill the whole family. The two versions of the story achieved the goal of expressing exactly how terrible the Misfit was. The differences between the two versions of the story serve to influence the emotions of the audience. As an example, it was the car accident (rather than the flat tire) scenario that pulled more empathy for the family. Both versions delivered the shocking ending of a bloody massacre. Thus proving that not only is it “impossible to trust a man” (said the fat man at the soda pop store) but, it is impossible to trust religious beliefs too. The grandmother prayed with her eyes squeezed shut and yet it wasn’t enough to save the family from the devilish Misfit.