Written by ShaLynn M. Andrews
Flannery O'Connor's short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is about a Georgia family on their way to Florida for a vacation and the day ending in disaster and murder. The story opens with the grandmother, also being the main character, trying to convince her son, Bailey, not to go to Florida; she had just read an article about a recently escaped convict, the Misfit, who was supposedly heading to Florida. The next morning, the family, including the grandmother, her son, her son's wife, their baby and two kids, along with the grandmother’s cat, leave for the vacation. Shortly into the story, the family stops for something to eat at Red Sammy's Barbeque. There the grandmother has a conversation with the owner about the changing times and with the owner stating “A good man is hard to find”. Meaning that a “good man”, an honest, hardworking, gentlemen is no longer common. The seemingly comical events of the day turn disastrously when the grandmother upsets the cat, causing the family to wreck. Shortly after, the Misfit, accompanied by two other men arrives. The grandmother recognizes him instantly and as a result, brings about death to the entire family, even after trying to reason with him.
According to a biographical article, “Thematically, the story concerns religious hypocrisy, faith and doubt, and social and spiritual arrogance” (Shackelford, 5). This novel is about a search for a 'good man' among no apparent candidates and the goodness of God. In saying that, O'Connor's short story uses symbolism, character and third person view to show the battle between good and evil and how it surpasses any religious point of view.
In order to understand the point stated above, one must understand the author, who she was and what was important in her writings. Flannery O'Connor was born in Georgia as an only child and lived a relatively uneventful and short life. In... [continues]
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