The experience of epiphany is an important part of character development for the protagonists in A Good Man is Hard to Find (1953) and the Good Country People (1955) short stories. Both stories take place in the South and involved around the good country people, and their religion, mistrust, salvation, and battle between good and evil. On the end of both stories the main characters experience a sudden flash of recognition a deep epiphany, after being challenged by the darker side of human nature. The main character of A Good Man is Hard to Find stories is the grandmother who is a good Christian, but a selfish woman. The story is based on a family car trip on which they meet an escaped criminal and his gang while trying to fulfill the grandmothers wish by trying to find the way to a house from her childhood. This results in the familys death at the end of the story. If the grandmother had not insisted they detour to see the old house, which, she realized later that was in Tennessee, not in the part of Georgia where they were, the family would have avoided the disaster.
The grandmother naively hopes that her insistence that the criminal is a, good man who must come from nice people will somehow change the fact that he is a murderer. The writer demonstrates her strong belief in the salvation of religion during her final pleas for her life to the criminal. OConnor says, His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmothers head cleared for an instant. She saw the mans face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, Why youre one of my babies. Youre one of my own children(260). The grandmother reaches her epiphany when she realizes that finally she is putting someone before herself , and she become not only saved but also the savior by showing the Misfit that he can also be loved, accepted, and redeemed when his time comes.
In Good Country People the main character Hulga is an educated and crippled middle aged woman who lives with her mom. She sees people either as good country people who are invisible, simple-minded liars, or smart, intellectual like herself who believe in science, philosophy, and not in religion. When Hulga meets Manley Pointer the Bible salesman she believes that he is one of the good country people who not like her at all. During they date in the hayloft when Manley takes her fake leg and refuses to give it back to her she experiences her epiphany. She says, Give me my leg Youre a Christian Youre a fine Christian Youre just like them all say one thing and do another (273).