Literary Analysis: A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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With the plot essentially focusing around a forgetful grandmother, the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O 'Connor has created a large number of debates over its controversial and open ended contents. The story is considered one of the more well known writings from the Southern Gothic genre. The genre, often characterized by grotesque storytelling about a damaged or delusional character, was popularized during the 1940s by Southern writers like O’Connor. Throughout the story, a small cluster of characters are introduced. Each character is unique and have been analyzed by scholars to discuss the role they play in the story. The grandmother, however, seems to be the one analyzed the most because of her actions throughout the…show more content…
She never once asked the Misfit to spare her family despite her multiple exchanges with him. Everything she said was to persuade the Misfit to let her live. When Bailey was killed, she cried out for him, but her cries meant nothing. Both times she cried out, she was looking at the Misfit, not in the direction where the Misfit’s underlings dragged Bailey off to. One could infer that her cries were an attempt to show the Misfit that she was caring; but, her actions did not match her screams. As one scholar put it, “The fact that Bailey, his wife, and their children now lie dead nearby seems to have as little meaning for her as the divinity of Jesus (Bandy 10)” The grandmother played a good game. She learned from her mistakes and found new approaches to manipulate her targets. Every action she took in the story were to benefit herself. In the end, she stayed true to herself and died trying to manipulate someone for her own survival. She remained manipulative and selfish throughout the story, even under a layer of faked goodwill. She was given a chance to change herself into a round character, but she never took the opportunity. She will never get another chance to prove herself as anything but a flat character now, because she is
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