Eng 102 Davis
Short Story Essay Revision
May 6, 2013
Elements of a Southern Atmosphere in O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” and Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” Though the short stories “A Rose for Emily” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” differ in plot, theme, voice, and many other aspects, both contain similar characters and settings. The authors of these highly acclaimed Southern Gothic works, have skillfully and eloquently created intricate characters and imagery that portray many elements of Southern life. Flannery O’Connor’s, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” tells of the tragic events that take place during a family’s road trip to Tennessee, which ultimately ends in their unsightly demise at the hands of a notorious serial killer. Equally as morbid, William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” takes place following the death of well-to-do woman Emily Grierson, as a town recounts her bizarre and insane behavior throughout her lifetime, and makes a gruesome discovery of a rotting corpse in her bedroom. Throughout both stories, O’Connor and Faulkner employ the use of various literary techniques, and successfully create typically southern atmospheres. Throughout “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor consistently uses the physical setting as a means of conveying a Southern atmosphere. In the opening passages, it is revealed that the family is traveling from Atlanta, Georgia to east Tennessee, communicating that the story takes place in a Southern region. O’Connor mentions at several points the locations of the family’s journey through the southern states, writing, “Bailey and the children’s mother and the baby sat in front and they left Atlanta at eight forty-five” (406), and the Grandmother describes her native state of Georgia, saying, “Tennessee has the mountains and Georgia has the hills” (O’Connor 406). Also, at the beginning of their journey, the family passes cotton fields and a plantation, scenery which is inherently Southern. O’Connor
Cited: Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Kirszner and Mandell 244-250. Kirszner, Laurie a and Stephen Mandell, eds. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 8th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2013. Print. O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Kirszner and Mandell 405-416.