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Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay

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Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find

"A Good Man is Hard to Find presents a masterful portrait of a woman who creates a self and a world through language." At least that is what Mary Jane Shenck thinks of the Flannery O'Connor story. Several different people have several different views of this controversial and climatic work of O'Connor's. In this paper I will take a look at these different views of different situations and characters in this book.

First we will take a look at grandmother. She is made to look like the saint in this story. Her, in contrast to the rest, is the good person, always looking out for the best of others. She is not going on vacation, she is going to visit her "connections" in Tennessee. While on the drive, to their destination, she sits and admires the scenery as the others are more interested in the funny papers or the sports section. She brings the cat along on the trip for the good of the cat. She didn't want the cat to accidently kill himself by turning on the gas on the stove or something. She is the "Christ-like" figure of this story, and this is more relevant at the end of the story when she confronts the Misfit. Just like in so many other O'Connor stories the grandmother, the good character, is going to take the hardest fall.

The Misfit appears many different ways in this story. His first appearance in the story he seems to be a scholar. Wearing his silver-rimmed glasses and a black hat. This description would also fit a description of a rabbi. This image comes just by looking at his head. His shirtless torso and blue jeans, which didn't quite fit right, and gun in hand, kind of veer us away from thinking of him as being a good man. Of course the limitations of his chara...


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...mily is in reference to the disciples. No matter what it the acions were, they followed grandmother, the Christ-like figure. They also were oppressed, but by death, in a way as the disciples were for following Christ.

At the conclusion the reader is left with a vision of destruction of human life both literal and figurative that is absurd rather than tragic because the victims are not heroic figures reduced to misfortune, They are ordinary characters who meet a grotesque fate.



Works Cited


Currie, Sheldon. "A Good Grandmother is Hard to Find: Story as Exemplum," The Antigonish Review (Spring-Summer 1990):143-55. Short Story Criticism. Vol. 23. 223-225.

Schaub, Thomas Hill. "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Short Story Criticism. Vol. 23. 233-235.

Shenck, Mary Jane. "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Short Story Criticism. Vol. 23. 220-223.


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