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A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Mary Flannery O’Connor

Powerful Essays
Mary Flannery O’Connor, the writer of many short stories known for their cruel endings and religious themes, wrote “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” in 1955. “Her works combine flat realism with grotesque situations; violence occurs without apparent reason or preparation.” (Roberts 429). “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is about a southern family’s trip to Florida which takes a dramatic turn. This story was written in O’Connor’s first collection of short stories. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a compelling story of tragedy that utilizes humor and irony to draw the reader’s attention, and two major characters to convey the authors central theme.

Throughout the short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” O’Connor uses humor to enhance her story and set a tone for the reader. Margaret Whitt states that “Because of the specificity of detail of dress and family interaction, the story is also funny in a grotesque way” (Whitt 44). O’Connor’s humorous description and situations are used all through her stories including “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (Wilson “A Good”). For Example, John Wesley tells his grandma, “if you don’t want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?”. At that point his little sister June Star makes her way into the conversation and says, “She wouldn’t stay home to be queen for a day”. June Star later adds, “She wouldn’t stay at home for a million bucks”, to further exaggerate on her point. Even though grandma expresses how she does not want to go to Florida and would rather visit her connections in East Tennessee, she is still the first person in the automobile the next day for their three day trip to Florida. Another humorous situation happens while the family is driving through Georgia and the ...

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Keil, Katherine. "O'Connor's 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find.'." Explicator 65.1 (Fall 2006): 44-47. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Vol. 111. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Nester, Nancy L. "O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find." The Explicator 64.2 (2006): 115+. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.

Whitt, Margaret. Understanding Flannery O'Connor. Columbia, South Carolina: University of

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Wilson, Kathleen, ed. Short Stories for Students. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.
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