Good Man Is Hard to Find is a story written by Flannery OConnors. The mainly reason of writing this story is the negative influence she got from her catholic religion and background. A Good Man is Hard to find illustrates broad themes and techniques that mainly characterizes the whole story. O'Connor learned to use the available resources like most of her periodicals and books and the people surrounding her to bring out the main objective of her stories. She learned to utilize the nearby resources after suffering from illness to infrequent and short trips away from the family farm. She mainly got her ideas from the local and regional stories from the newspapers in Atlanta region.
In the story, the whole family is killed by a character called Mist, this ideas is borrowed from a newspaper of 1950s that talked about two killer criminals who had bullied the Atlanta areas (O'Connor & Asals 1993). Red Sammy Butts also had been based on a story about a boy who pretended to be good and came back to Milledgeville to celebrate his own birthday hosted by the area market dealers. The way O'Connor treats her characters portrays how a man is a fallen being. The story s explains how a normal family is destroyed by three escaped criminals. The main theme of the story is giving of grace and the acceptance of the gift by their grandmother before experiencing betrayal before her death.
The family relationship is characterized by disagreement and disrespect which is one of the readers point of view. The grandmother changes the family trip from visiting Florida and wishes them to have a trip to Tennesee for the purpose of her own benefits. This outlines how the grandmother is so egocentric and arrogance which is outlined in the first lines of the story. Your one and only my son are Bailey grandmothers words that make the reader to see action of grace. In order to convince the family to have a trip to Tennessee, the grandmother comes with a story of escaped killers with the mind of trying to frighten Bailey in order to change his mind which he ignores her by not responding showing an action of disrespect. This part shows an ironic imply up to the end of the story. Since the son disobeys him mother and chooses to go Florida, the grandmother conveys Pitty Sing, the family cat with her into the car with the fear that it might choke itself accidentally or miss her if left behind (O'Connor & Asals 1993). Ironically survives after befriending the guy who assassinates the whole family and causing the auto accident that leads to the death of the family, as opposed to the grandmothers view about the significance of the cat.
OConner tries to establish a sense of fore-seeing and explain the defects of the family by designing all those series of events causing the death scene. Grandmother tries to wear a flowered dress in order to show that she was a lady to anyone seeing her dead on the road. She sits at the back seat like a tour guide and tries to tell the grandchildren about a story of black child. By telling this story she tries to tell the children how the little niggers in the area lack the things they possess (O'Connor, 1989). As the children returns to their funny books, we are shown a number of death images that assembles us for the coming calamity. An image of difference between the old age and the young age is seen when the grandmother takes the baby for the mother. The six graves in the old family ground indicate the number of the people in the car. Grandmother describes the plantation to have been blown by the wind which makes the reader to remember the death of the Old South. The story told by the grandmother about her man Mr. Teagarden tries to explain the heights of rude commercialism.
The tower cafe scene illustrates how the characters have fallen into depths of self- interest. During this scene O'Connor tries to explain how a reader can see various steps of reality in one image. The tower also represents a biblical tower where Abel and Cain where not able to understand each other. The characters hide their behavior of lacking concern for their fellow man by trying to show their good manners this symbolizes the Tower as a low- class oily spade. The characters fail to enter into a meaningful talk that makes them to lack manners and irritate other through their talk. One of the child insults Sammys wife by telling her how poor they were to stay in such a place this displays how hard it is to find a good man since most of the people recently are field with evil deeds.
The conversation between Sammy and his wife shows how the development of Europe has made it hard to find a good man. O'Connor tries to show how the people in the tower are full of lust, sin and malice by showing a grey monkey that attracts the people into the tower (O'Connor, 1989). In the Christian perspective, the monkey symbolizes lust, sin and greediness of man. Toomsboro its a small town that symbolizes the family fate. It is in that town where the grandmother reveals her hidden cat that later jump out of the box on to Baileys shoulder leading to the auto accident. After the auto accident, the grandmother seeks for help by waving at the people in the approaching car that later attracts Misfit and his colleague who end up killing the family. This shows how the old lady shows how sinful she is despite an old age being a symbolic for an important part in Christian life. Grandmother tries to deny that Misfit is a bad man which is a biblical symbol of how Peter denied Jesus three times. The command from Misfit to kill the family shows how he has reached points of giving up in life. He shows not to forgive himself for the bad he has committed and even a word from the modern priest cannot change him.
Misfit emphasizes the hypocrisy of the old lady by not listening to her love and sympathy by shooting her three times. The dead body of the old lady displays salvation given to the sinners. The yellow sport shirt it is used a symbol to show betrayal. After Bailey is killed and the yellow shirt given to Misfit, the old lady confuses his son with Misfit where she later thinks it is her own son who is killing her. The grandmothers final actions were not of charity despite that she was trying to save herself. This story reveals Gods favored and grace to mans redemption. The experience of the grandmother before being killed enlightens Misfit. He notices that the old lady was trying to preach the gospel to him despite that she was frightened.
The main goal of writing this story was to show transformation in the characterized which was highly shown by the grandmother (O'Connor, 1989). At the start of the story, she tried to be a respectable woman. This is shown by her choice of going to Tennessee instead of going to Florida and also her efforts to safe herself instead of saving the whole family. Not every image in the story shows judgment of morals of the grandmother. When the family encounters the three prisoners, there is understanding of how grace, south and death cant be bought. Misfit believes that if the grandmother had lived according to how she sympathized with him she could have lived a better live than that. Grandmother tries to show how close minded she is by describing the cat as a little Pick ninny. This outlines that she was raised in a racist environment. She tries to change her attitude in order to accommodate the rude answers she got from her family.
To conclude, this story contains broad elements which mainly characterize most of O'Connor fiction stories. Most of the characters show the value of self confidence or the feeling of not being ready to be questioned. The characters are also full of pride that leads them to catastrophe after another. This enables them to compare their past lives with the recent one and perceive it in a spiritual manner.
O'Connor, Flannery, and Frederick Asals. A Good Man Is Hard to Find. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1993. Print.
O'Connor, Flannery. Flannery O'conner, Collected Works. Library of America, 1989. Print.
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