“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O'Connor explore the depths of evil and what makes an individual truly evil. They both question are understanding of evil and the different forms it may present itself in. These stories do an equally good job at getting the reader to see true evil first hand, even though they present evil in much different ways. As humans we can differentiate evil from good most of the time there is usually a clean cut line from a morally just action from one that is not.
When we look at Falnnery O’Connors “A Good Man is Hard to Find” we see many forms of evil even before we meet the criminals. The family has a trip planned to Florida which the grandmother does not approve of because she would rather visit Tennessee. The grandmother then tries to per sway the family by instilling fear bringing up “The Misfits” who were local criminals that just escaped from prison; although her actions may seem rather insignificant and perhaps even debatable if they are evil, the grandmother’s actions can still be perceived as selfish. The grandmother’s selfish motives can be viewed as a form evil even if it is not the worst evil. This begs the question where precisely does the line lay on what is done through purely evil motives and if the line is really as clear cut as we may possibly think it is?
In “The Cask of Amontillado” the narrator Montresor claims that Fortunato has hurt him a thousand times before, but his final straw was when Fortunato almost insults him it is at this moment he insist to the reader that there will be payback for his actions. Right from the start we can see evil presenting itself in this story starting with Fortunatos thousand acts of evil. Of course this is all if we are to trust the narrator, we are not sure to what extent the evilness of each of these acts are, all we know is that they have deeply impacted Montresor enough for him to seek revenge. Montresor does not sit easy with what has been done to him so he deceives Fortunato into following him into a catacomb in search of a rare alcoholic beverage named Amontillado. He then leads him deep into the catacomb were he then locks him up and then builds a wall so he can never escape thus killing him. Right away Montresors actions seem irrational and insane to most, but is there any situation where his actions can be viewed not as evil but perhaps acceptable.
Looking back at “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the family while traveling to Florida decides to take a slight detour at the grandmother’s wishes to a house she remembered. During the detour a cat Pitty Sang was frightened escaped from the grandmother’s bag where she was hiding it, the cat then proceeded to jump onto the driver causing them to veer off the road into the ditch. After the accident one of the children June Star says “‘But nobody's killed,’ June Star said with disappointment” (page 403). Even at such a young age June Star is showing signs of...