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Evaluation of Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Summary

As the story starts, The Granny is whining concerning taking place a trip to Florida; she ‘d rather go to close friends in eastern Tennessee. She worries aloud to the remainder of the family members, Bailey (her child), his wife, June Celebrity as well as John Wesley, their children, and also the infant, regarding The Misfit, whom she has read about in the paper. The Misfit is a serial awesome who has escaped from the Federal Penitentiary and is on the loosened.

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The next early morning, the household sets out on the trip. They stop at The Tower for barbecued sandwiches, where the owner, Red Sammy Butts, and also his partner wait on them. The Grandmother as well as Red Sammy commiserate about the existing state of the world, whining that you can not trust anybody these days. He narrates regarding exactly how he provided two males gas on debt; clearly he has actually been made the most of and also regrets his choice.

 

As they triggered once more, The Grandmother keeps in mind an old vineyard that she thinks utilized to be in this area. Bailey does not intend to take a detour to go locate it, so The Grandmother composes a lie regarding just how there are secret doors in your home with hidden treasure; this makes June Celebrity as well as John Wesley shriek and also grumble until their father concurs turn around and also drive down the dirt driveway. However, after they have been driving for a while, The Granny understands that the old plantation is actually no place around there in any way. Her response creates the feline to run away from its box and get on Bailey’s shoulder, and also he diverts off the roadway.

The car has turned over as well as is in a ditch. Another car approaches, as well as from it climb up The Misfit, Bobby Lee, as well as Hiram. The Grandmother identifies The Misfit, and he addresses, “it would certainly have been much better for all of you, lady, if you had not of reckernized me.” She begins to speak about just how The Misfit is plainly not of “typical blood,” and just how he has to “originate from nice individuals,” flattering him. Yet he calmly orders Bobby Lee and Hiram to take Bailey and John Wesley into the woods, and also quickly gunfires call out as they are murdered,

As The Grandma advises The Misfit to pray to Jesus, Hiram and Bobby Lee return from the timbers dragging Bailey’s yellow t shirt with bright blue parrots on it, and The Misfit puts it on. Then Bobby Lee and also Hiram nicely aid up The Mother and also June Celebrity to take them back into the timbers, as well. The Grandmother starts to worry and also returns to attempting to convince The Misfit to find Jesus. She repeats, “I understand you originate from great people! Hope! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a woman.” After that she deals with him, offering all her loan to conserve her life.

When The Grandmother listens to the pistol shots that introduce the fatalities of the remainder of her household deep in the timbers, she sobs out, “Bailey Kid!” for her child. The Misfit advises her that no person has raised the dead besides Jesus, as well as suggests that Jesus shouldn’t have actually done that: the only satisfaction he locates in life is “meanness.” He reveals his lack of belief in God by stating that he can not think Jesus also elevated the dead, given that he wasn’t there to see it, and also blames this absence of expertise for exactly how he has ended up.

Seeing he resembles he will cry, The Grandma sobs out, “Why you are just one of my children. You are just one of my own kids!” as well as touches him on the shoulder. The Misfit responds by firing three shots into her chest as well as killing her. Hiram and Bobby Lee come back from eliminating The Mother, June Star, and also the baby, and also The Misfit remarks that as a matter of fact, there is no genuine enjoyment in life in any way.

Analysis

The title of the story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” echoes Red Sam Butts in his conversation with The Granny. The skepticism of others generally is a continuing theme throughout O’Connor’s narratives, as well as in her discussion with Red Sammy Butts, The Grandmother confirms her idea in this suggestion: “It isn’t a heart in this eco-friendly globe of God’s that you can trust.” This idea opposes her Christian confidence, obviously, however ultimately her Christian belief results in the achievement of Poise.

Poise, an important motif to O’Connor, is offered to both The Granny as well as The Misfit, neither of whom is particularly deserving. As she realizes what is happening, The Grandmother starts to plead The Misfit to pray so that Jesus will assist him. Right before The Misfit eliminates her, The Grandma calls him one of her own kids, acknowledging him as a fellow human capable of being conserved by God’s Elegance. Although he murders her, the Misfit is implied to have accomplished some degree of Grace as well when he finishes the tale by claiming, “It’s no actual enjoyment in life.” Earlier in the tale, he declared the only satisfaction in life was meanness.

The glorification of the past prevails in this tale through the personality of The Grandma, that reveals fond memories for the way points utilized to be in the South. Her error concerning the “old hacienda that she had checked out in this area once when she was a girl” leads to the death of the whole family when they get in a car mishap while driving down the dirt driveway. Prior to she realizes that the vineyard is really not in Georgia but in Tennessee, she keeps in mind “the times when there were no paved roadways and thirty miles was a day’s journey,” imagining the stunning scene she thinks they will certainly soon find.

Eyes are an important symbol in much of O’Connor’s short stories, and also here they suggest a personality’s mindset. The Grandmother’s eyes are brilliant as she listens to “The Tennessee Waltz” on the jukebox at The Tower. As Bailey makes a single effort to say with The Misfit before he is led into the woods to be killed, his eyes are referred to as “blue and also intense.” After they hear the gunshots that signal the fatalities of Bailey as well as John Wesley, The Mommy and also June Stars’ eyes are “glassy.” After he eliminates The Granny and also removes his glasses, “The Misfit’s eyes were red-rimmed and pale and also defenseless-looking.”

Racism is a minor style in “ A Good Man is Hard to Find ” The Granny exposes her racism when she comments on the youngster the household observes out the window: “Little niggers in the nation do not have things like we do,” calling him a “cute little pickaninny.” Though she invents empathy for the circumstances of blacks, her sensations toward them are plainly racist.

As in much of O’Connor’s tale, the sky is discussed as a sign of the characters’ moods. Right after The Grandma identifies The Misfit, he comments, “Don’t see no sun yet don’t see no cloud neither,” suggesting that their fates have actually not yet been decided. However after Bailey and also John Wesley have actually been killed, as The Mom and also June Celebrity are being led into the woods too, The Grandma notices that “there was not a cloud overhead nor any type of sunlight,” and currently it suggests that she has nothing from which to obtain her bearings: “there was absolutely nothing around her yet timbers.” There is no hope.

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