Deja Vu: Foreshadowing in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
Taking a typical American family on a vacation for a turn for the worse and into a psychopathic mass murderer seems like a twist in most stories, but Flannery O’ Conner uses foreshadowing to reveal her plans early in the story. On re-reading the “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, we notice many more examples of foreshadowing leading us to the predictable demise of the grandmother and her family. From the very first sentence of the story, to newspapers and clearly obvious laid out clues, there are many prime examples used by a very clever Flannery O’ Conner.
The story starts off with what we can look back now as an “I told you so” moment: “The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida, she wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind” (134). If the family had by some miracle survived, the grandmother would have definitely taken the opportunity to bring up her original idea of bailing on the trip to Florida. That is just the type of person this grandma is. No one else’s way or idea can be good enough for her just on the slight chance that it won’t live up to expectation, and although they never actually made it to Florida, the family will never go on this exciting of a trip again. June Star is the daughter of the family, and the only one willing to talk back to the grandma with the same sass that the old lady dishes out. June star mentions in passing that the grandma “has to go everywhere we go” (135). At the time of this quote, June Star is merely saying that the grandmother would never stay home when the family went on vacation, regardless of their destination. By the end of the story, The Misfit has already directed his fellow goons to drag each of the family members into the woods to be shot and killed. All except for the grandmother have been murdered. But, just as June Star said, the grandmother has to go everywhere they...
Cited: O’ Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Approaching Literature: Reading+Thinking+Writing. Ed. Jack Ridl, Peter Schakel. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. 134-146. Print.
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