March, 3, 2015
A Good Man is Hard to Find Southern Gothic Analysis
To begin, the story takes place in Georgia during a family trip to Florida, this automatically paints a picture of life in the South. During this trip, the grandmother insists to stop in Tennessee along the way. O’Connor expands on elements that fit the southern gothic setting. For example, the Blue Mountains, the hills of the South, the flora and the fauna of the locale. The grandmother herself represents a grotesque character. She is the typical Southern woman. She’s a religious woman who goes to church every Sunday, and on the outside appears to be quite innocent. However she turns out to be self-centered, distant from the real world, and her only knowledge coming from television and newspapers. She is the archetype for the “aging southern woman.” She obsesses over dressing her best for the car ride so "In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." The children also represents how children in the south are, mindful to their grandmothers. Even though they were not nice to the dad, the grandmother always got the respect. The mom being as “innocent as a cabbage” stood out as a characteristic also because being from the South mothers are always portrayed as innocent. The dad being quiet but angry was yet another characteristic, he even yelled at the mom at one point leaving the misfit questionable to why he did that. In conclusion, Flannery O'Connor's, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” examines and criticizes the moral values of the American south using common themes associated with Southern Gothic fiction such as the use of grotesque events, negative southern stereotypes and ironic twists. O’Connor uses these to show up and criticize the themes and values of the American South.
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