Literary Analysis of a Good Man Is Hard to Find

Good Essays
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

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Devona Hogan English 1302-49 Profess. Hanks Literary Analysis “A Good Man is Hard to Find” “A good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O'Conner depicts a southern family, who is at odds about where they should go for a family vacation. They will eventually agree to head for Florida, once in the car the family will go through a series of events that will shapen each indivudal character. One of the main characters in the story, “The Grandmother”, who is known for her critical , savvy ways gives…

    • 1115 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    why things happen the way they do? One could foresee the end right from the beginning. However, one could miss the expected if they do not believe or know what one is seeing. In the short story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" (O’Conner, 2008), the author applies her Christian upbringing along with the literary elements characterization, foreshadowing, and irony to best portray the theme, “if an individual does not follow the rules of society, there can be negative, sometimes violent consequences"(Short…

    • 1821 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lit Analysis #7 on "A Good Man is Hard to Find” In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” you meet a family, but the member of the family that sticks out is the grandmother. She says many things that makes one wonder what is going on in her head. For example, when she says “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (O'Connor). This is a one of the first sentences from the reading “A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor. When reading this…

    • 1150 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    So what makes a story? The symbolism and images that authors use in there writing can have so many different features. “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and the story “A good man is hard to find,” by Flannery O’Connor both are written by great authors that have great work. Both the writers use different features to make their story stand out. They only use a few features, but both their writers use a lot of the same ideas. These stories are so different but at the same time they have…

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    EN251 – Midterm Essay Ross K. Gordon Herzing University In the short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Conner, the reader is taken on a journey and tags along with a self-centered family as they explore the sights of the rural south while en route to their destination, a family vacation in Florida. As they travel the dusty road, O’Connor (2012) takes them from heaven, “all at once, they would be on a hill, looking down over the blue tops of trees for miles around,” (p. 139) and…

    • 1403 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    “grandmother”, is often followed by an image of a sweet elderly woman who will often encourage, support, and model what type of person another should strive to be. In cases like the one presented by Flannery O’Connor in his short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the grandmother possesses qualities that are rarely associated with grandmas. Most fictional characters have flaws and redeemable qualities to parallel living people and the “grandmother” in the story follows the same trend by having some…

    • 891 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tania Pacheco English 1A Mrs. Solorzano Essay #4 November 8, 2010 Literary Analysis on “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” “Jesus!” the old lady cried. “You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus you ought not shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!” In the story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” the major theme is the theme of religion. The story is about a family that ends up going on a vacation to Tennessee…

    • 694 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Chad Funk Professor Sharon Thiese The Short Story May 28th, 2012 Literary Analysis “Setting” – A Good Man is Hard to Find In the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor starts out by giving a look at a dysfunctional family on a vacation, but ultimately, gives insight into ourselves as well as the nature of good and evil, how they can clash, and how they can co-exist, even in the same person. The setting, which plays a critical role in this short story because the grandmother shows…

    • 2170 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is hard To Find” is a story about a family heading on a vacation from Georgia to Florida. O’Connor uses literary elements; Point of view, foreshadowing and irony to make this story arouse to someone’s curiosity. In the beginning, the first sentence O’Connor lets the readers know that this story is not told directly by one of the characters & also who this story is mainly about. (1) The grandmother is the character we are told the most about and she is also the only…

    • 521 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Analyze the stories for literary devices, and record one example of the following devices from any of her stories that are exceptionally well-done. Quote each example (include story title and page number for citation). Then, explain the rationale for your selection. Literary Device - Foreshadowing: “A Good Man is Hard to Find” She uses foreshadowing very well in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. She uses phrases like, ‘Toomsboro’ (359) and ‘the big black battered…

    • 1416 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays