A Good Man Is Hard to Find Essays

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    In the 1953 short story titled “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, readers are given a glimpse of what the end of the story may look like through use of foreshadowing, symbolism, and other literary techniques. Although the story looks to be an innocent story of a family who travels to Florida for vacation at the start of it, readers soon find out that the story has a darker twist to it. This family trip turns violent and this gruesome ending can easily represent the violence taking place in America during the time this story was written by O’Connor and even today. The short story starts off with a family of six- parents, a grandmother, and three children-

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    The story gives way of foreshadowing the unfortunate ending in several instances. The first one is when Grandmother Bailey is trying to change the destination of the trip by showing her son the newspaper article about the man that escaped from the penitentiary. "Here this that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it”

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    The Grandmother is a well-dressed and a proper southern lady. She is also the center of action in the short story, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find". The grandmother seems very suspicious at first, and thinks her son Bailey will be forever small and has to abide by her rules. In her eyes she is never been wrong but knows it all. When we become up-close and personal with the grandmother we see that she's this bad person, which she appears to be old-fashioned, manipulative, and self-serving as a whole.

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    Morgan Devitt Professor Teem ENGL 1101 2 December 2014 Moral Code In Flannery O’Connor’s short story, ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find’ O’Connor reflects her views on society through the Misfit and the grandmother. Throughout the story, the characters display what they think are definitions of a good man, but O’Connor shows us that a man who follows correct moral code and is honest is the real definition of a good man. The grandmother throughout the story does little things that break her own moral code.

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    The Story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O'Connor uses symbols to depict one main idea. Flannery O'Connor uses the same theme in almost all of his stories which is grace and redemption. Grace and redemption is something the grandmother is working towards throughout the entire story. In the beginning, she's very shallow and only cares about how others see her. However as the story continues and different actions take place, her overall beliefs begin to change as she receives grace and redemption.

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    Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a short story that makes readers question what truly makes a good person. The grandmother in the story believes she knows what a good person is, but the Misfit challenges her morals which makes her question what makes a good person. Both the Misfit and the grandmother judge people based on their moral code but one of their moral code is more authentic than the other. In her final moments of life does the misfit make her see what really makes a person good? The grandmother doesn’t seem to develop in the story until she faces life or death at the end, she may have never developed if have it not been for the Misfit.

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    At first read, the short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor is thought to be one solely regarding disobedience and death. Flannery focuses a great deal on the children, John Wesley and June Star, and their defiant attitudes towards their grandmother. The grandmother feels as if it is her duty to redirect the two recalcitrant children into a life of respect. This is known when the grandmother says, “‘In my time,’ said the grandmother, folding her thin veined fingers, ‘children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else’” (O’Connor 252). Furthermore, O’Connor depicts death as an importance in the story.

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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.

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    A Non-traditional Grandmother Saved by a Non-traditional Hero When thinking about a traditional grandmother what comes to mind? A lot of positive characteristics probably come to mind! Loving, caring, wise, putting your family before oneself, and many others! A grandmother spoils her grandchildren with kisses, and love. A grandmother is never selfish, she is old and wise.

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    A woman who tends to get on everybody’s nerves and still manages to get what she wants. Who is she? The one and only grandmother from “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor. They go through so much trouble on a memory that turned out not to be accurate. One thing leads to another and all her actions led to disastrous reactions.

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    In her short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor tackles the issue of grace, showing that no matter the person, everyone can attain and earn grace. The grandmother and the Misfit, though they appear to be quite different people, are both the same at the core: They are sinners in need of Christ. The Misfit and the grandmother are both capable of change and accepting God, but only the grandmother reaches this revelation before her death. Grace is one of the most important ideas in the Bible and Christianity. Grace is “the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God,” (Holcomb).

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    Desperate times call for desperate measures. In Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, the Misfit is depicted as a violent criminal who has escaped from the federal penitentiary. At first, the Misfit appears to be compassionate towards the grandmother, but when the grandmother identifies the Misfit as the escaped criminal, the Misfit becomes volatile and eventually violent towards the family. Although many would assume that the Misfit is psychotic, he opts to kill the family in order to save himself from being put back in the federal penitentiary.

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    A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O 'Connor certainly weaves a story depicting the theme of society and class through its, characters, foreshadowing , tone, and diction , help to invoke the boundaries of society and social class through the changing era. O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find follows a family divided in age and era, after their family vacations takes a dark turn down a dirt path. At the beginning stages of O’Connor’s story we are introduced to our characters, Bailey (the father), June Star (the daughter), John Wesley (the son), the mother, the baby, and the focal point of the story the grandmother.

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    A compare and contrast essay is the way of comparing the differences and the ways they are similar with two or more things. This method of writing is well known and used especially on a college and high school level. Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay you have to really know about your characters or places you are trying write or tell about. You can’t just write about anything either it has to relate with each other that is the whole point of the contrast part. For example, a good topic for a compare and contrast essay would be comparing/ contrasting two towns or talking your parents.

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    Redemption is the act of being saved from acts of evil and sin. The debate of whether human nature is redeemable or not has been one to plaque religious scholars. In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, this question continues in the interactions between the characters; the most notable being the Grandmother of a rather horrible family and the Misfit, a murderer. While on a road trip, these two characters’ paths collide and lead to a rather unfortunate end where the Grandmother and her family are killed. While many readers believe the ending creates and overall negative tone of the story, some believe that there is a hope for redemption; the story’s author O’Connor who is a devoted Catholic included.

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    Flannery O’Connor is widely regarded as one of the most iconic Southern Gothic grotesque writers. Her works such as Wise Blood and “A Temple Of The Holy Ghost” manifest the grotesque writing style quite distinctly through their themes and characterization. Her characters and themes exemplify grotesque in their disfigured and unsettling nature. Perhaps O’Connor’s most notable work of short fiction, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” exemplifies the physical and moral aspects of grotesque. Physically, the grotesque manifests itself through characters.

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    Through St. Cyril’s quote the temptation of pride is present in each one of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. In each short story the symbolic dragon (temptation) is exhibited in at least one character in each short story. The temptation that each character falls victim to is pride. The grandmother’s pride got in the way when she was badgering the family about doing what she wants to do, Mr. Shiftlet’s pride was ironic when he judges the earth for being slime when he himself is slime, and Mrs. McIntyre’s pride gets in between the marriage of Sulk and Mr. Guizac’s white cousin.

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    “A Good Man is Hard to find”, was one of Ms. Flannery O’Connor’s well known story that shows what she is known for in her writing : violence, well thought characters with humor, and shows her Roman Catholic faith. Throughout the story, there are certain details that make the story what it seems to be than what Ms. O’Connor had to portray. Although it would be seen as a shocking violent murder plot all in one, there can be another side to the story as well. In the story of A Good Man is Hard to Find shows that people would think O’Connor was mocking religion, in actuality she was not. The characters in the story are used to expose the idea between good and evil and hypocrisy.

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    Misunderstandings As represented in the story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O'Connor, a good man was hard to be and had different ideas of how to pursue it. Going through the journey with the grandmother and her family learning about the Misfit, the audience can witness the actions being made by different characters to witness their fall and/or their triumph. When looking into the grandmother more deeply, the audience can detect the intensity of her self absorption. She would consider herself a lady with high standards of herself.

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    Characters can change a great deal throughout the course of a story. Based off of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," we see just how much a character will change. There are many reasons for the character shift (undergoes an inner change) that are left up for our interpretation, which can be read about in The Theory Toolbox. In "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," the grandma undergoes a great deal of shifting in her character.

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