Literary Analysis “Setting” – a Good Man Is Hard to Find

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 her selfish wants and views on people and society and believes that things were much better in her early years. As the story unfolds the setting provides insights to the where the dysfunctional family will eventually meet their doom, which is caused by the actions of the grandmother. Written in 1955, readers can take the position that this story setting was to be in the era of the late 40’s or early 50’s like many of O’Conner’s stories. The grandmother does say in “the way Europe acted you would like we were made of money” (1046) which is in reference to the WWII being over and how the other countries portrayed the U.S. and the wealth of our country during that time. Another part of the story that proves this is the correct era is based on the way the grandmother dresses in preparation for a car accident so that if anyone seeing her dead would know that she was in fact a lady. Her “hat” which she also wears for the purpose of being represented as a woman is a major symbol in the story especially in the end when it is linked to her character and inner thoughts, but also can be linked to the time period. During the car ride the grandmother is seen thinking and reminiscing about the past as they drive by the old plantations and cotton fields in which she again uses a hint to the time of the era by saying that the plantations have “Gone with the Wind”(1044) which was written in 1939. These are the times that she believes were the better days when she should have married



Cited: 1. “A Good Man is hard to Find”: The Short Story and It’s Writer – An introduction to Short Stories; 8th Editon; Pgs 1042-1053 2. Blythe, Hal, and Charlie Sweet. "O 'Connor 's a Good Man is Hard to Find." Explicator 55.1 (1996): 49-51. 3. Shmoop Editorial Team. "A Good Man is Hard to Find Theme of Good vs. Evil" Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 13 Jun. 2012. 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind 5. Shmoop Editorial Team. "A Good Man is Hard to Find Setting" Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 13 Jun. 2012. 6. http://www.supersummary.com/short-stories/23-plot-summary-of-a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-by-flannery-oconnor?start=3

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