Critical Essay #1
A Closer Look Into
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
The short story I chose for my critical essay is a story that caught my attention with a gentle and inspiring title and as I began to turn pages it suddenly evolved into a theme that caught me off guard and I quickly became intrigued by elusive style of writing the author used to express this story in a unique form of literature. After reading Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, I will discuss the vivid historical and cultural context the author revealed to the story’s setting in relation to its style and how the main character is exposed to different parallels of what she considers to be a good man in time that is dealing with social issues we are still faced with today. Also, I will give a short biography on Flannery O’Connor on her background and why she enjoys writing stories with such dark content. In the following paragraphs, you will also exposed to how a calm title “A Good Man is Hard to Find” will bring new perspective to the type of person you would consider to be a good man and how we can be faced with a situation where we find ourselves trying to see the good, in even the most evil kind of men. Throughout the short story by Flannery O’Connor’s story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” used cultural context that represents the use and belief of a southern roots lifestyle that took place in a small town in Georgia somewhere between the 1940’s-1950’s. The Grandmother is the main character and in several instances she replicates the historical and cultural race issues present during those times because she would refer to African Americans as “Negros” or “N*gg* rs” which was common use of slang by southern whites around that time. For example, the Grandma was telling her young obnoxious granddaughter named June Star, a story and even mentioned a derogatory statement which was stated “Little nigg*rs in the country don’t have thinks like we do” which clearly shows her position on racism in the United States. Another example comes from an excerpt from The University of Mass. Dartmouth, English Department where the Grandmother was stated as “The Grandmother, A product of the American South is revealed as a conservative and traditionalist when it comes to both gender and race. She makes several statements using this type derogatory fashion which directly imitates the same type of behavior used during this time period toward African Americans. Another example of how the author used both historical and cultural context within her writing was when the family was heading to Florida they stopped at a small diner that was called “The Tower” or also “Red Sammy’s Barbecue” to grab a bite to eat, and conversation came up where they were talking about a man called “The Misfit” who escaped from Federal Prison and other issues going on in the country and the owner, Big Sammy Butts made a remark about how many of the issues happening in the Country are to be blamed on Europe. It took me a moment to fully understand why they would even consider making a comment like that, but then as I looked deeper into the subject I was quick to discover that the story takes place around the time World War 2 was taken place or was recently over and because of the hardship many families and soldiers had to deal with mentally and financially led to a rise in crime and tension amongst residents where Red Sammy Butts was led to make the statement “A good man is hard to Find”. The way the author used the setting of the story to take place in a southern community and the characters having a southern country lifestyle and beliefs goes hand in hand with the unique style of literature this story represents, which is called Southern Gothic Literature. The meaning of Southern Gothic Literature as described by Beverly Lyon Clark from Georgetown University, as being defined as a style or genre of writing of American Literature, that focuses on...
Cited: Janson, Peter. "University of Mass. Dartmouth Eng. Dept." A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Analyzed. University of Mass. Dartmouth Eng. Dept., 1 Nov. 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.
O 'Connor, Flannery, and Beverly Lyon Clark. "Flannery O 'Connor (1925-1964)." Flannery O 'Connor (1925-1964). Georgetown University, 4 Nov. 2002. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.
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