“A Good Man is Hard to Find” Analysis
“A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a southern stories in several ways. Most of the old southern values are embodied through the grandmother. As the family loads into the car to drive to Florida, the grandmother is described as wearing white cotton gloves, a navy blue straw sailor hat with white violets on the brim. She also dons a white-dotted navy blue dress with white organdy cuffs and collar trimmed with lace. She had pinned a cloth violets containing a sachet—a scented bag—to her collar. She is the only one dressed up, her rationale being “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.” Dress was an integral part of class distinction in the Old South, and the grandmother clearly thinks things should still be that way.
The grandmother also displays one attitude towards blacks when she describes a young black child she sees as they drive. She explains to June Star that he doesn’t have britches because he is poor and simply not white, saying, “[they] don’t have things like we do.” She goes on to say she would paint him if she could, treating him as an object rather than a human child. Slavery and racial discrimination was characteristic of the Old South.
The family also stops for barbeque at The Tower. It may not seem “southern,” but I can say from experience that BBQ is a part of southern culture. I once drove from Georgia to Florida with my own family and along the way saw many barbeque places. And they were delicious!
Southern culture is also brought up when the grandmother recalls the old plantation. She paints a picture of what I always envision when I think of one, with “six white columns” and “an avenue of oaks leading up to it.”
Finally, religion was an important part of southern culture. Though it doesn’t say of which religion the grandmother belongs to, she brings up religion during her confrontation with The Misfit. She plays it off that she is...
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