“Adversity defines the essence of who we are and who we desire to be!” This can be best realized in the rural southern regions of the United States during the late 19 forties and early fifties. Without a specific location of long-term concentration, this story finds three generations of a family taking a vacation (planning at least) to Florida despite objections from the grandmother. Factor in her impatient son (Bailey), his wife, and two smart-ass children have marginal respect for their grandmother resulting in a crew of authoritative, uncertainty, distant, and manipulative people about to engage on a trip that ends with certain doom for all with a twist indicative of self preservation and ironic irritation.
Vacation time usually brings about excitement and enthusiasm. In this particular setting, a not so typical family, grandmother, and a stowaway feline eventually make Florida their destination choice. The decision goes against the wishes of the grandmother who points out the fact that there is a fugitive loose and headed for a destination this family has seen before. As the trip ensues, they come across various sights indicative of the era of segregation and hard time.
Pant less Negro children, plantation graveyards, and views of clouds during roadside lunch are just a few of the sights observed by this family on their doomed endeavor. What trip would be standard without sibling conflict between John and June? Grandmother’s memories of days gone by reflect on a man who used to bring her watermelon along with a sighing confirmation that she should have married him. Regret is never far away from her mind as daily events continue to consume her emotionally.
The continued trip brings them to a roadside stop known as the tower. A full figured man known as Red Sammy who works as a truck mechanic greets them. His tall wife prepares lunch and socializes with the wayward crew. Casual conversation initiated from Red’s wife to June that concludes with a smart-ass response that is commonplace with the brat’s demeanor. Red comes in to chat with the in transit family and relates with the grandmother’s observation of how things have changed and folks just do not cohabitate as social inter action was once upon a time. Grandmother at this point finds someone who can relate with how ...
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...er yells for him to come back immediately. Feverishly, she once again tried to reason with the misfit that he is a good person. His apology for not having a shirt on in front of the ladies validates his calm yet sinister intentions. The killer views this family no different from the rest of his victims. He only sees lives to consume. Alas, the possibility for another conquest presents itself.
Bailey’s wife asks about the location of her husband, sensing foul play. The grandmother reconfirms the possibility of honesty existing inside of him (misfit). The concluding suggestions from her tell him that he could be honest, if he tried. A final inquiry from the grandmother asks if he prays. A pistol shots in the woods verifies the irrelevance of her question with an acknowledgement of earlier feats as a gospel singer. Perhaps destiny is better enjoyed when favorable conclusions materialize. Irony always presents the considerations for contentment enjoyed in times past. The element in which this is realized needs no particular atmosphere or lessons learned from the revelation.
O’Connor, F. (1955) a Good Man Is Hard To Find, San Diego, California: Harcourt Brace and Company
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