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Flannery O’Connor was able to covey her defining of a good man through irony, religious undertones, and symbolism. Irony can be found all throughout “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Character irony can be greatly seen through the grandmother. As the family is preparing for their trip she is continually trying to manipulate them to go to Tennessee instead of Florida while trying to make it seem like she doing it for the protection of the family from The Misfit and not for her selfish needs “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 these people. Just you read it.
Deeply influenced by good and evil, the theme of redemption through grace and suffering, the work of Flannery O'Connor takes us to the heart of darkness of humanity. In Flannery O'Connor we find another key figure: the one of the prophet, the marginal, the one that is different from "brave people" and as such is the theme of "grotesque". The "grotesque" in Flannery O'Connor is one of the topics most discussed by literary critics. A closed reading of Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, one of the best of her stories, reveals different levels of interpretations. There are various critics from “A Good Man is Hard to Find."
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.
In the short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, written by Flannery O’Connor, the theme of the mysterious definition of a “good man” is apparent. The true definition of a ‘good man’ is flawed, but one must also realize that it is difficult to universalize simply because every person is entitled to their own opinion. 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, and in a sense, the definition of a ‘good man’ is referring to her belief of what characteristics a ‘good man’ possesses. From the beginning, the reader is given the indication that the grandmother is determined to get what she wants and will do whatever she can to do so.
I will argue that this was not a story about a chance encounter, but this is what was meant to be. The story almost starts out that would lead the reader to think it is a comedy. The story starts with the grandmother only thinking about what she selfishly wanted to do for the family trip. That was to go to Tennessee instead of Florida, she did not want a chance encounter with the Mis-Fit. The Mis-Fit is a violent prisoner that is locked away in the Florida penitentiary.
177-78. O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." 1955. Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay.
Work Cited Schlib, John and John Clifford. “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. 5th edition. Bedford/ St. Martin’s: Boston and New York, 2012.