A Good Man Is Hard To Find
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“A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
In Flannery O’Connor’s story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, we follow “a family of six which, on its way driving to Florida, gets wiped out by an escaped convict who calls himself the Misfit” (O’Connor, Reasonable 325). The incidents and characters throughout the story are aspects of a plot intending to symbolize the spiritual grace passed from one human to another, without regard for kindness or evil. The grandmother is the most prominent and developed character in the story and contains several traits that are typically related to the elder southern woman. Within her family unit she goes mostly unnoticed, “the parents pay little attention…and when they do, they are often quite rude” (Brown). She has many points of view but it seems as though the children are the only ones that respond to her but that doesn’t mean that they respect her. June Star says of her going on the trip “She has to go everywhere we go” (O’Connor, Good 298). John Wesley says to her “If you don’t want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?” (298). So what makes her final gesture so important in the story towards The Misfit that makes the reader shed a tear or two for her?
In the beginning of the story the grandmother is trying to persuade the family to go on a trip to Tennessee instead of Florida. She is reading an article in the paper about an escaped convict named “The Misfit”. Without much of an audience to hear her she uses her power of suggestion that “The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida” (297) to scare the family into agreeing with her about heading to Tennessee. We find out it does not work but are introduced to the workings of the grandmother in her efforts to be the center of the attention at all times. The character traits of the grandmother are in no way ideal but her ability to try and manipulate every situation does seem to ultimately seal...
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