Literary Analysis of a Good Man Is Hard to Find

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A Good Man Really Is Hard to Find

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is the story of a family’s vacation tragically ended by The Misfit and his gang. On the way to their vacation spot in Florida, the Grandmother remembers a plantation in Georgia she used to visit when she was a young lady and desperately wants to see it. She tells her son, Bailey, what road it is on and everyone is excited to see it. After a while, the grandmother realizes that she was wrong about where the plantation was and becomes so upset at herself that she knocks things over in the car which causes a car accident. A passing car stops to help the family but the Grandmother realizes that one of the men is a murderer, nicknamed, The Misfit. While one of the men with the Misfit brings small groups of the family in the forest to be killed, the Misfit and the Grandmother have a conversation about what it means to be a good person. The Grandmother is the main character of the story. She thinks of herself as morally superior to everyone around her just for the fact that she is a lady. In reality, the Grandmother is racist, dishonest, selfish, and quick to judge. Being a lady is the only thing she has going for her and the one and only trait that she is displays proudly. Being seen as a lady is the most important thing to her. “Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the Highway would know at once that she was a lady” (O’Conner 2). Even when facing the Misfit, about to die, the Grandmother relies on her being a lady to save her. She continually pleads “You wouldn't shoot a lady, would you" (8)? She mistakenly believes that because the Misfit is a “good man” his conscience wouldn’t allow him to shoot a lady. Throughout the story, the Grandmother is nostalgic, continually remembering and discussing the good times where everybody...
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