Research Paper: “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
A Good Man is Hard to Find, written by Flannery O’Connor is a well-known short story that has been reviewed by many scholars. O’Connor’s choice of theme, setting, and symbolism is a topic that critics have discussed for decades. O’Connor’s use of characterization is one aspect that receives multiple views. This particular short story focuses on two main characters, Grandmother and the Misfit. O’Connor depicts these individuals in a special way and there are many ideas relating to the true significance of these characters.
One of O’Connor’s principal characters is the Grandmother. First, O’Connor gives her no other name than Grandmother and paints her as a tragically comic character, one that a reader can feel superior to. Grandmother reveals a racist and superior moral attitude when she sees a poor black child and calls him a “pickaninny,” and then says, “Little niggers in the country don’t have things like we do” (O’Connor). The grandmother is seen as selfish and pushy after she convinces her family to travel to Tennessee rather than Florida. O’Connor takes time to describe the grandmother’s road trip attire, and the reader instantly can tell that Grandmother is very old-fashioned and uptight. For instance, O’Connor writes, “The old lady settled herself in comfortably, removing her white cotton gloves and putting them up with her purse on the shelf in front of the back window. Her collar and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of and accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady”(O’Connor).
Another character that O’Connor’s story revolves around is an escaped murderer, the Misfit. O’Connor describes him as uneducated yet deliberately polite. His role is to add tragedy to the story. He is discussed at the beginning of the story when the family is talking about going to...