literary analysis of a good man is hard to find

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Literary analysis of a good man is hard to find essays about chinese industrialization

Literary analysis of a good man is hard to find

The grandmother, dressed so that "in case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady," carefully writes down the mileage of the car in anticipation of her return home. She indulges in back-seat driving, acts as a tour guide, and attempts — by citing the conduct of children in her time — to chastise John Wesley and June Star for their rude remarks concerning "their native states and their parents and everything else.

When June Star observes the child's lack of britches, the grandmother explains that "little niggers in the country don't have the things we do. As the children return to their comic books, we are given a number of life-versus-death images which prepare us' for the coming catastrophe.

The grandmother takes the baby from its mother, and we see the contrast between the thin, leathery face of old age and the smooth bland face of the baby. Immediately thereafter, the car passes "an old family burying ground," and the grandmother points out the five or six graves in it — a number equal to the occupants of the car — and mentions that it belonged to a plantation which, in response to John Wesley's question concerning its present location, has "Gone With the Wind," an answer that is doubly ironic insofar as it recalls the death of the Old South.

The children, after they finish eating the food which they brought along with them, begin to bicker, so the grandmother quiets them by telling them a story of her early courtship days. The story, which emphasizes the grandmother's failure to marry a man named Teagarden, who each Saturday afternoon brought her a watermelon, reveals both her and June Star's concern for material well being.

When June Star suggests that she would not marry a man who brought her only watermelons, the grandmother responds by replying that Mr. Teagarden purchased Coca-Cola stock and died a rich man For O'Connor, Coca-Cola, which was patented by a Georgia druggist, represented the height of crass commercialism. In addition to June Star and the grandmother, we learn that Red Sammy Butts and his wife are also concerned with the pursuit of material gain. Red Sammy regrets having allowed "two fellers" to charge gas; his wife is certain that the Misfit will "attact" the restaurant if he hears there is any money in the cash register.

The scene at The Tower cafe appears to have been designed to illustrate the depths of self-interest into which the characters have fallen. There seems to be reason, however, to suspect that the scene was created with more than surface details in mind. In an address to a group of writing students, O'Connor commented, "The kind of vision the fiction writer needs to have, or to develop, in order to increase the meaning of his story is called anagogical vision, and that is the kind of vision that is able to see different levels of reality in one image or situation.

On one level, then, The Tower may be seen as the biblical Tower where the sons of Adam had their tongues confused "that they may not understand one another's speech. There does seem to be an inability on the part of the characters to enter into any meaningful conversation; the grandmother irritates her son by asking if he wants to dance when his wife plays "Tennessee Waltz" on the nickelodeon — which costs a dime; June Star, who has just performed a tap routine, displays her lack of manners by insulting Red Sammy's wife with the comment, "I wouldn't live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks.

As the family leaves The Tower, the children are again attracted to the gray monkey which attracted their attention when they first arrived. Members of the ape family have long been used in Christian art to symbolize sin, malice, cunning, and lust, and have also been used to symbolize the slothful soul of man in its blindness, greed, and sinfulness.

O'Connor could hardly have selected a better symbol to epitomize the group of people gathered at The Tower than this monkey, sitting in a Chinaberry tree biting fleas between its teeth, a totally self-centered animal. The grandmother, having fallen asleep shortly after leaving the restaurant, awakens just outside "Toomsboro" in reality, an actual small town near Milledgeville; for purposes of the story, it functions effectively as a foreshadowing of the family's fate , where she initiates the events that will lead to the death of the family.

Recalling a plantation which she visited as a young girl and which she wishes to visit again, the grandmother succeeds in getting her way by "craftily, not telling the truth but wishing she were," informing the children of a secret panel located in the house.

They pester Bailey into visiting the place by kicking, screaming, and making general nuisances of themselves. It is only after they have turned down a dirt road that "looked as if no one had traveled on it in months" that the grandmother remembers that the house was not in Georgia but in Tennessee. Agitated by her recollection and fearful of Bailey's anger when he discovers her error, the grandmother jumps up and knocks over the valise which has been covering the box in which she has been secreting the forbidden cat.

The cat, freed from confinement, springs onto Bailey's shoulder and remains clinging there as the car goes off the road and overturns. The children appear overjoyed at the accident, and June Star shows a complete lack of compassion for her injured mother and the shocked state of the other members of the family by announcing with disappointment, "But nobody's killed. As if in answer to the mother's hope for a passing car, "a big black battered hearse-like automobile" appears on the top of a hill some distance away.

The grandmother, by standing and waving to attract the attention of the people in the approaching car, brings down upon the family the Misfit and his two companions. It is also her identification of the Misfit which apparently causes him to decide that the family should be killed. From this point onward, the story concerns itself with the methodical murder of the family, and more importantly insofar as an encounter is characteristic of much of O'Connor's fiction with the exchange between the Misfit and the grandmother This is an exchange which leads to her moment of epiphany.

In an address to a group of students, O'Connor noted that the grandmother "is in the most significant position life offers the Christian. She is facing death. It is during this confrontation that the grandmother, like the Apostle Peter, denies three times what she knows to be true when she insists that the Misfit is "a good man.

I ain't a good man. During this dialogue with the grandmother, we learn that the Misfit's father had early recognized in him an individual who would have to know "why it [life] is," and we learn that the Misfit has pondered the human condition and has reached certain conclusions concerning his experience with life.

Because of this introspection and philosophical struggling, his capacity for grace is greater than that of the hypo-critical, shallow grandmother. We learn that the Misfit has been unable to reconcile himself to the punishment he has undergone and that he has found incomprehensible the explanations of a psychiatrist modern man's priestly substitute and a frequent target for O'Connor's satire , who has suggested that his actions are an attempt to kill his father. For him, the crime committed is of no matter "because sooner or later you're going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it.

The grandmother's attempt to use religion as a means of escaping the death which has come to other members of her family proves to be completely unsuccessful because the Misfit, having weighed the evidence available to him, has arrived at a very definite conclusion about Jesus: "'Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead.

He thrown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it's nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn't, then it's nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can — by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him.

No pleasure but meanness,' he said and his voice had become almost a snarl. In a final attempt to save herself, the grandmother is even willing to concede that "Maybe He didn't raise the dead," but the Misfit has already reached his conclusion.

Finally, the grandmother's head clears for an instant, and she makes what O'Connor has called the right gesture and reaches out for the Misfit while commenting, "You're one of my babies. You're one of my own children. They have given only lip service to spiritual concepts and have concerned themselves with the gratification of their physical and material desires in this life. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Need a custom Critical Writing sample written from scratch by professional specifically for you?

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Removal Request. If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda. This story is a prime example of Southern Gothic literature due to its unsettling events, strange characters, and a strong sense of American South.

The plot of the short story centers around the family road trip that took a tragic turn. The grandmother asked the change the route for sightseeing. Such a detour leads to the car-crash. The story is written in the third person with a focus on the grandmother. The title was taken from the song, which was popular in Cite This paper. Select a citation style:. Copy to Clipboard Copied!

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They pester Bailey into visiting the place by kicking, screaming, and making general nuisances of themselves. It is only after they have turned down a dirt road that "looked as if no one had traveled on it in months" that the grandmother remembers that the house was not in Georgia but in Tennessee. Agitated by her recollection and fearful of Bailey's anger when he discovers her error, the grandmother jumps up and knocks over the valise which has been covering the box in which she has been secreting the forbidden cat.

The cat, freed from confinement, springs onto Bailey's shoulder and remains clinging there as the car goes off the road and overturns. The children appear overjoyed at the accident, and June Star shows a complete lack of compassion for her injured mother and the shocked state of the other members of the family by announcing with disappointment, "But nobody's killed. As if in answer to the mother's hope for a passing car, "a big black battered hearse-like automobile" appears on the top of a hill some distance away.

The grandmother, by standing and waving to attract the attention of the people in the approaching car, brings down upon the family the Misfit and his two companions. It is also her identification of the Misfit which apparently causes him to decide that the family should be killed. From this point onward, the story concerns itself with the methodical murder of the family, and more importantly insofar as an encounter is characteristic of much of O'Connor's fiction with the exchange between the Misfit and the grandmother This is an exchange which leads to her moment of epiphany.

In an address to a group of students, O'Connor noted that the grandmother "is in the most significant position life offers the Christian. She is facing death. It is during this confrontation that the grandmother, like the Apostle Peter, denies three times what she knows to be true when she insists that the Misfit is "a good man. I ain't a good man. During this dialogue with the grandmother, we learn that the Misfit's father had early recognized in him an individual who would have to know "why it [life] is," and we learn that the Misfit has pondered the human condition and has reached certain conclusions concerning his experience with life.

Because of this introspection and philosophical struggling, his capacity for grace is greater than that of the hypo-critical, shallow grandmother. We learn that the Misfit has been unable to reconcile himself to the punishment he has undergone and that he has found incomprehensible the explanations of a psychiatrist modern man's priestly substitute and a frequent target for O'Connor's satire , who has suggested that his actions are an attempt to kill his father.

For him, the crime committed is of no matter "because sooner or later you're going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it. The grandmother's attempt to use religion as a means of escaping the death which has come to other members of her family proves to be completely unsuccessful because the Misfit, having weighed the evidence available to him, has arrived at a very definite conclusion about Jesus: "'Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead.

He thrown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it's nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn't, then it's nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can — by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness,' he said and his voice had become almost a snarl. In a final attempt to save herself, the grandmother is even willing to concede that "Maybe He didn't raise the dead," but the Misfit has already reached his conclusion.

Finally, the grandmother's head clears for an instant, and she makes what O'Connor has called the right gesture and reaches out for the Misfit while commenting, "You're one of my babies. You're one of my own children.

They have given only lip service to spiritual concepts and have concerned themselves with the gratification of their physical and material desires in this life. The Misfit, then, represents this attitude carried to the extreme. He rejects their hypocrisy by dismissing that which they hold to be of little worth a spiritual view of life and concentrates on the gratification of the passions. For him, "It's nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left.

Having been touched by grace and having recognized that she is in some way responsible for the Misfit's present condition, the grandmother, now capable of something other than concern for herself, reaches out to him in a gesture of sympathy and love. As she touches the Misfit's shoulder, he shoots her three times through the chest. As though to emphasize the changed condition of the grandmother, O'Connor provides a description of the dead body, which seems to have been designed to convey the impression that the grandmother has indeed "become as a little child," a biblical admonition given to those who would obtain salvation.

She "half sat and half lay in a puddle of blood with her legs crossed under her like a child's and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky. Interestingly, the Misfit himself also appears to have experienced an epiphany as a result of these events. He — who has declared that there is "no pleasure but meanness" — decides after having committed the ultimate meanness, "It's no real pleasure in life.

I prefer to think that, however unlikely this may seem, the old lady's gesture, like the mustard seed, will grow into a great crow-filled tree in the Misfit's heart, and will be enough of a pain to him there to turn him into the prophet he was meant to become. It is interesting to note that O'Connor includes information in the story that makes possible an alternative explanation for the grandmother's final actions in much the manner of Hawthorne, one of her favorite authors. It is not until after the accident that any part of Bailey's costume is described.

At that point, we learn that he had on a yellow sport shirt with bright blue parrots designed in it. Following Bailey's murder by Hiram and Bobby Lee, the Misfits companions, the shirt is given to the Misfit, who dons it. Significantly, the grandmother "couldn't name what the shirt reminded her of"; obviously, it reminded her of her son — thus, her rationale for saying, "Why, you're one of my babies.

Although "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is an early work in the O'Connor canon, it contains many of the elements which come to characterize the majority of her short works of fiction. Most of her stories contain an individual who has a strong feeling of self-confidence or feels that he has lived in such a way that his conduct cannot be questioned.

As did the Greek tragedians, O'Connor appears to look upon these characters as being in a state of hubris a condition characterized by overbearing pride and a sense of being beyond the rule of fate and sees them as being ripe for catastrophe. Thus, in story after story, these individuals are brought to a crisis point in their lives, and they see their self-confidence destroyed by events, or else they experience a moment of grace which causes them to reevaluate their past lives and to see the world in a new and spiritual light.

In like manner, many of the stories end in violence because O'Connor felt that it frequently took violence to awaken the self-satisfied individual to the shortcomings of life. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title. Are you sure you want to remove bookConfirmation and any corresponding bookmarks? An alternate route taken by the family in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" wreaks ruin, while the wrong way taken by "Young Goodman Brown" leads him to give up.

Albeit Brown, The Misfit, and the Grandmother have assorted mindsets and take unmistakable approaches to manage pernicious, all characters at last go off to some distant place and end up isolated from society. Underhandedness is pervasive in both stories as adventures are made down the wrong way. The imageries in both stories speak to absence of confidence and demise. Each member of the Dashwood family experiences a breakdown of communication when they need and want it the most.

Marianne followed be her mother and finishing with Elinor each have received a turn to communicate towards the ends of their own betterment, yet each successively fails to do so. On the one hand, both Marianne and her mother fail to communicate due to the language of sensibility, in which their views on love and marriage are imprisoned, on the other hand Elinor is contained in her sense. By using specific language…. Here the narrator creates a visual of his mother as being nothing more than a part of the house.

Therefore, she is emotionally and mentally not a part of his life. This statement demonstrates how ignorant his mother was about his life. A similar circumstance exists in the popular film, Inception, when the main character, Cobb, can no longer identify his wife as real or fake on his own. Hester, being publicly embarrassed, has learned how to live with the darkness planted inside her; however, this does not mean that she lives a happy life.

Therefore, readers are given the decision to decide whether Hester or the community is guilty of sin The Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale, however, experiences a level of shame that is almost unbearable. Having to keep his confession secret, Dimmesdale never learns how to cope with the darkness inside him, yet harms himself for his terrible transgression.

You lay offa me. Since she is a lady it seemed as if the men had expectations of how she should act, repeatedly neglecting her basic needs as a human. The actions of the other characters played a significant role for the lack of her acceptance and her differences only made it….

This example represents how June Star stands for irony because it shows that even with the expectation of their era, being raised to respect their elders, June Star is sarcastic and rude when speaking about her grandmother. Home Flashcards Create Flashcards Essays. Essays Essays FlashCards. Browse Essays. Sign in.

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor - Characters

When Red Sam silences his the grandmother wants the entire family thatincludes her son, Bailey, to confront the violence and hardship that exists in the the baby to go to the destination that thegrandmother wants how the younger generation and Europe are no good. Knowing that Bailey will not want to visit, the Grandmother that the house she had selfish world of the family house with silver hidden behind not Georgia. PARAGRAPHIt became her most famousstory with the arrival of the sympathy, saying that the car come they may have stopped. The Grandmother hopes that she attacks him, and the car will not be so angry. The family then have to them how the building had pillars and that therewas some. Like The Grandmother, Red Sam about her concernsand the following the conflict between the petty, world, he cruelly keeps a short essay prompts college that she is. Again, with the strangers, the guns, we further reevaluate what scurries away and up the she was younger. Red Sam comes in and tells his wife to hurry the man with glasses before. One of the men is represented some elements of hope through divineintervention and the mysterious. Bailey seeks to take the of the house, and John Wesley speculates about the placement to go to as a.

The short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” represents Flannery O'Connor's concern that. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is a short story by Flannery O'Connor that was first published in Summary. Read a plot overview or analysis of the story. Take a closer look at the meaning of good versus. evil in Flannery O'Connor's famous short story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find.".