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

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"A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor

     In the short story, 'A Good Man is Hard to Find', the main character is the grandmother. Flannery O'Connor, the author, lets the reader find out who the grandmother is by her conversations and reactions to the other characters in the story. The grandmother is the most important character in the story because she has a main role in the stories principal action. This little old lady is the protagonist in this piece. We learn more about her from her direct conversation with the son, Bailey, her grandchildren, June Star and John Wesley, and the Misfit killer. Through these conversations, we know that she is a lady raised from a traditional background. In the story, her attitude changes more than once to accommodate the surroundings that she is in. With the data provided, we can tell that the grandmother goes from not wanting to go to Florida, to anxious to go, and in the end, I felt as if she went off the deep end. All of the sudden, the only thing she really concentrates on is Jesus and her not being killed.

     The action in the entire story surrounds and normally begins with something the grandmother has said or done. At the very beginning of the story, she starts off by stating that she does not want to go to Florida. She would rather go to east Tennessee and tried anything she could to change Bailey?s mind (Page 426). Later in the story, as they began the trip to Florida, the grandmother talked the entire time. She would tell stories of her youth to the grandchildren and lecture them about being more respectful to their native state, and to their parents. Although the grandmother is the protagonist, it is her fault that the trip ended in the devastating way that it did. She, unknowingly, led her entire family to their fate. She is even more responsible for the deaths because of what she brought on the trip with her. If there had been no cat, there would have not been an accident. If the accident would not have happened, the family had an extremely good chance to survive their vacation.

     There are many things that happen in the story that gives more information about the grandmother. The reader can tell that the woman is paranoid by her conversations at the start of this story. She reads about the Misfit killer and assumes it would be dangerous to travel to Florida with a man like that on t...


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... her days, people that were raised well in good families did not commit hainus crimes like murder. She could not believe that this man was capable of killing her. In the end, after her entire family was killed, she realized that her time was up. She made a last desperate attempt to save her life and ultimately failed. The Misfit killer shot her three times. The killer then says, ?she would have been a good woman if there had been someone to shoot her every minute of her life?(Page 436). This statement leads me to believe that he knew what type of woman that she was.

     The most important aspect of this story is the actual meaning of ?A Good Man is Hard to Find.? Most people think that is a term meant just for a woman trying to find a man to fall in love with. In this story, it has a complete different meaning. Through the grandmother?s eyes, it was not only good men that were gone, but it was also the good life. I believe she was ready for death, but this was not the death that she wanted.

Works Cited:

O?Connor, Flannery. ?A Good Man is Hard to Find.? Literature: An introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 8th ed. New York: Longman, 2002.


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