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Hulga and The Misfit: Nihilism and Fatalism - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class July 19, 2011 Hulga and The Misfit: Nihilism and Fatalism Nihilism and fatalism are featured in Flannery O'Connor's two short stories, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People.” Hulga and the Misfit share nihilistic and fatalistic beliefs in life, which dominated their personalities and actions, and turned them “demonic.” This paper compares the demonic persona of nihilism and fatalism of these characters…
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Hulga and The Misfit: Nihilism and Fatalism
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Download file to see previous pages The Misfit has not emotionally matured, because he feels he needs no help from anyone, especially God. An emotionally mature person, furthermore, accepts the misfortunes of their lives. These misfortunes are part of human suffering that people must embrace, in order to develop their “inner hold” (Frankl 77). Frankl believes in the essence of embracing suffering for it gives meaning to humanity's existence. To suffer is to feel alive. When the grandmother asks the Misfit to pray, so that God may help him with his troubles, he resists it. Indeed, he is demonic, for he does not pray, even when he has sinned repeatedly. The Misfit also believes that his daily actions are enough to survive in this world and there is no need for God to do better: “I'm doing all right by myself” (O'Connor “A Good Man”). He feels so betrayed by his suffering, which shows in his constant complaints of the injustice of his punishments. If only he understands the value of his suffering, he would have realized his real purpose in life. The Misfit is also emotionally immature, because he does not take responsibility for his actions. He is a nihilist, who has no accountability for his deeds. He does not believe that his punishments are equal to his crimes. He thinks that he should keep signed documents of his crimes, so he would not be found guilty of worse crimes that he feels he did not commit. This thinking drives him to justify his name: “I call myself The Misfit because I can't make what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment” (O'Connor “A Good Man”). Hulga has also not matured emotionally at all, because of her intellectual pride. She relishes her superiority by using philosophical statements, such as arguing in her paper that “science wishes to know nothing of nothing” (O'Connor “Good Country”). She also feels vainly attached to her artificial leg, even when she thinks she is above her disability. She does not want to tell Pointer initially, for instance, where her artificial leg joins to her knee: “...she was as sensitive about the artificial leg as a peacock about his tail” (O'Connor “Good Country”). In addition, she is naive enough to believe that Pointer has “real innocence,” which makes her trust him with her secret of where her knee attaches to her artificial leg (O'Connor “Good Country”). She just met this boy and she immediately judges him to be a “perfect Christian” (O'Connor “Good Country”). This belief in Christianity is an irony, because if she thinks that life has no meaning, then she should have known that there is no “perfect Christian” (O'Connor “Good Country”). Like the Misfit, Hulga shows no signs of emotional maturity in how she deals with others and how she sees herself, which constrains her ability to see the silver lining in her lonesome life. Nihilists believe that nothing has value, including life itself. The Misfit finds no meaning in his life, because he arbitrarily commits crimes. Even as a criminal, he has no sense of purpose, which him makes him demonic, since he has hurt and killed so many, without ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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