A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

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“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” written by Flannery O’Connor tells the story of a dysfunctional family headed to vacation and their inevitable death. The family, including their matriarch, the grandmother, represents the delusion perfection that many modern Christians have. The family displays an extreme sense of vanity, self-centeredness, and disobedience during the first half of the story. The first half of the story does not follow a specific pattern nor does it hold significance to the family’s lives. O’Connor uses the first half of the story to show her audience that the family is heading down a path of destruction due to their narcissism and current lifestyle. In the second half of the story, O’Connor quickly introduces the Misfit and he makes only intelligent and logical actions in order to fulfill his ultimate goal, killing the family.
According to Frederick Asals, the first half of the story serves a significant purpose as it informs the audience that the family’s journey to Florida is only a “mere empty movement through space” (42). Prior to the car accident, the family acts out of vanity and disobedience despite believing they are devote Christians. Through their actions and behaviors, O’Connor reveals that they are heading down a path of destruction. T.W. Hendricks examines the structure of the family and their relationships with each other, he comments that “the structure of the family is in disarray” (203). The patriarch of the family, Bailey, despises his mother and prefers to overlook her presence by participating in self-absorption. In comparison, his wife does not pay attention to her external surroundings, but simply puts sole focus on her infant child. Furthermore, she and her husbands are parents t...

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... story as it shows the grandmother and her family’s lives have no importance until their encounter with the Misfit. Furthermore, O’Connor develops both her main characters, the grandmother and the Misfit, primarily through the structure of her disarrayed and segmented storyline with the intention of exposing her theme to her audience.

Works Cited

Asals, Frederick. “Flannery O’Connor: The Imagination of Extremity.” Zaidman 40-51. Print.
Hendricks, T.W. “Flannery O’Connor’s “Spoiled Prophet.” Modern Age 202-210. Print.
Zaidman, Laura Mandell, ed. “A Good Man is Hard to Find. The Hardcourt Brace Casebook Series in Literature. Fort Worth: Harcourt, 1999. Print.
O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, 4th ed. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gloria. Boston: Pearson, 2012. 352-365. Print.
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