Symbols In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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“I know that you’re a good man”(46), says the grandmother who is the main character that led her family to the Misfit, a murderer. In the A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor, the author of this fiction, set her theme to Christianity, Southern Gothic and social devolution. There are many symbols which represent these themes such as the journal about the Misfit, six graves, and a dirt road. Especially in this piece, O’Connor mentions rarely a ‘good man’ which symbolizes social devolution; the grandmother is the only one who mentions a good man while taking to Red Sammy and the Misfit. However, that subtle clue of a good man can be considered as contradictions of the grandmother. She calls Red Sammy a good man just because he has a same idea with her: nostalgia. Also the grandmother calls the Misfit who is actually an evil, a good man to persuade him into not shooting her. Therefore, good men that she calls are too subjective since she only says good men for her personal idea. Then what the criteria can be a good man? Considering these themes, some hidden clues are in the story. As one of the themes is a Southern Gothic, reflecting the southern…show more content…
Through the conversation between the grandmother, Red Sammy, and the Misfit, readers may find there are social devolution and nostalgia in the 1950s. For example, June Star and John Wesley, who are the grandchildren of the grandmother, are very rude to the adults. Even though the grandmother is between them, they slap each other over the grandmother. Moreover, Red Sammy mentions “people are certainly not nice like they used to be”(42) shows nostalgia and social devolution by describing that two fellers did not pay for the gas to him. Lastly, the Misfit who kills people without any reason symbolizes the degradation of the society also misses the past when his father was alive as nostalgia of the grandmother and Red Sammy
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