Literary Devices and “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
In the literary piece “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the author, Flannery O’Connor communicates literary symbols, foreshadowing, denouement and prominence of Southern culture. Within the story, there are subtle yet important details that make the entirety of the piece as iconic as it is. The reoccurring theme of being a lady and moral codes both are important to the overall concept of the story. In the piece, literary symbols are used to convey the overall theme of being a lady in the story. Specifically, the grandmother’s hat is a symbol. In the beginning of the story, she says that she wears the navy blue straw sailor hat with cloth violets on it only so people could identify that she is a lady in case she is lying dead in a ditch on the side of the road as a result of an automobile accident. The hat represents her selfishness and self-entitlement in regard to being a lady. When she describes the scene that perhaps she is in an automobile accident, she disregards the fact that her grandchildren, daughter in law and son would all also be in the automobile accident with her as well. When she does end up being in the accident when the car flips over, with herself at fault, she does not even admit it. The Misfit encounters the family, and instead of keeping quiet and having a chance at survival, the grandmother identifies him and asks, "You wouldn't shoot a lady, would you?" Without any thought to her grandchildren or rest of the family, she pulls out her handkerchief and dabs her eyes. As she is pleading for her own life and touches the edge of her hat, it comes off in her hand and she drops it on the ground, forgetting that there are 5 others around her being taken into the woods with dangerous men and no explanation she takes a moment to be sad about the hat falling apart. Any conviction she possibly had before encountering the killers has been broken, like the brim of her hat. Foreshadowing plays a large role...
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