“A Good Man is Hard to Find”
Murder of women, children, and even a baby is a harsh image used by Flannery O’Connor in “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The imagery is an effective literary device used to convey ironic tragedy, the struggle of female characters, and the family unit. The story follows a family on a trip to Florida when their journey, interrupted by an ill-fated detour resulting in a car wreck, ends in murder after they cross paths with an escaped convict. Family dysfunction, female struggles, and tragedy are common themes in the stories written by Flannery O’Connor, and her characters often referred to as grotesque. In her story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” she displays the relationships between a dependant mother and a resentful indifferent son, between an impotent grandmother and her insolent grandchildren, and the family’s interaction with strangers to promote the idea of shared human struggles with the meaninglessness of self-absorption and the dangers of impetuous behavior.
Flannery O’Connor, was born Mary Flannery O’Connor in 1925 in Savannah Georgia. She graduated from Women's College of Georgia in 1945, and received her master’s degree from Iowa State University in 1947. According to the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, she suffered from lupus, and before dying in 1964, she spent the last ten years of her life as an invalid writing and raising peacocks on her mother’s farm in Georgia. Interestingly, the characters in her stories are often referred to as grotesque, however, as the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia states, “[h]er characters, although often deformed in both body and spirit, are impelled toward redemption,” (Columbia Electronic Encycl...
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Desmond, John. Flannery O’Connor’s Misfit and the Mystery of Evil. Renascence. Marquette University. Winter2004, Vol. 56 Issue 2, p129-137. 9p. Web.
Flora, Joseph M. Two on Flannery O'Conner. The Southern Literary Journal, Volume 37, Number 1, Published by The University of North Carolina Press, Fall 2004, pp.179-181. Article. Project Muse.
Mitchell, Mark T. The Melancholy Tyrant: Democracy and Tyranny in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”. Perspectives on Political Science. Fall 2005, Vol. 34 Issue 4, p211-216. 6p. Article. Web.
O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Eds. John Schilb, and John Clifford. "Chapter 13 Doing Justice" Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012. p1283-1296. Print.
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