One trait that the grandmother possesses is the ability to manipulate the other characters indirectly. For example, the grandmother tries to convince the father into going to Tennessee rather Florida by telling him about a loose criminal. “‘I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did” (1). The grandmother is attempting to play on the father’s parental concern and change his mind about where the family goes on vacation.
O’Connor’s use of the words “Toomsboro” and “hearse like” are textual proof of this. The author uses these words to allude to death, “Toomsboro” sounding similar to the word tomb and “hearse-like” (O’Connor 5-... ... middle of paper ... ...is about the plantation. She tricks the children into wanting to go but the grandmother later realizes that there is no plantation and that “…the house she had remembered so vividly was not in Georgia but in Tennessee” (O’Connor 6). This flashback is important to the story because the grandmother’s mistake is what led them to the misfit. The author used allusions to get the family to where they will meet the misfit and to also give the reader some background on grandmother.
In the short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find, written by Flannery O’Connor, the theme that the definition of a ‘good man’ is mysterious and flawed is apparent. The reader must realize that it is difficult to universalize the definition of a good man because every person goes through different experiences. Thus, these experiences affect his or her viewpoint and in turn flaw ones view on a good man. O’Connor conveys this theme through her excellent use of diction, imagery, foreshadowing, and symbolism as well as through a creative use of repetition and an omniscient point of view. The grandmother, the main character of the story, is manipulative.
“Arts of the Contact Zone.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
The story begins with the grandmother trying to persuade the family not to travel towards Florida but perhaps go to Tennessee instead. This is based on the grounds that “the Misfit”, a escaped criminal is on the loose somewhere in Florida. The Ironic part of this is that the grandmother is the only family member to conceive of bad things happening to the family. She bases this solely on the fact that they were traveling in the same direction as the Misfit. This negative thinking quite possibly could have led to the eventual rendezvous between the convict and the family.
She wants the family to go to Tennessee just for for her own needs. She also does not want to go because there is a man who has escaped from prison and she read that he is making his way towards Florida, “Here this fellow that calls himself the Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to those people.” (O’Connor 1042) The day of the trip the grandmother is the first one to be ready, this way she is able to bring the cat along. She does not want to leave the cat behind because “he would miss her too much.” (O’Connor 1043) By this comment we see that she thinks she is the most important person in the family, having to bring whatever she wants. When the family is leaving, everyone is in comfortable traveling clothes except the grandmother who dresses formally. She had on a "navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim a... ... middle of paper ... ... kill her.
She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey's mind.” (O’Conner pg). This start gives you a hint of her manipulating ways and desire for control. However her son Bailey, is immune to his mothers ways and chooses to ignore her. Next, she tries to manipulate the other part of the family. She tries everything from announcing "The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida [...]” to using the three children of Bailey and his wife as an excuse not to go by s... ... middle of paper ... ...eive divine redemption and moments from God.
But the motive is not to keep the children or family safe. It is merely her attempt to change their minds and take the family to Tennessee instead of Florida. When this doesn’t work, she then attempts to manipulate the mother when she says that the children have already been to Florida and that they should be taken somewhere they have never been. Her manipulation continues when they are on the road and she tells a story about a house in the area that she was fond of growing up. She tells the kids of a “secret panel” that hid the family silver (The Pearson Custom Library of American Literature, 2011).
In her well-known short story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor skillfully describes the difficulty of finding a morally upright human being, whether it is a man or a woman. No one is perfect, everyone has inadequacies and shortcomings, and she presents this cleverly in her story. She is able to support this view of mankind through her characters. They are self-centered, egotistical human beings who can be judged by their words and actions. This is especially true of the protagonist (the grandmother) and the antagonist (the Misfit).