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A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor - Essay

A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay

❶Many contemporary theories of criticism address problems of meaning based on philosophies of language and the aesthetics of reception, so we worry less today about the author's conscious intentions than in previous times. The tableau is appropriate:

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I wrote her back to forget about the enlightenment and just try to enjoy them. I knew that was the most unsatisfactory answer I could have given because, of course, she didn't want to enjoy them, she just wanted to figure them out. In most English classes the short story has become a kind of literary specimen to be dissected.

Every time a story of mine appears in a Freshman anthology, I have a vision of it, with its little organs laid open, like a frog in a bottle. I realize that a certain amount of this what-is-the-significance has to go on, but I think something has gone wrong in the process when, for so many students, the story becomes simply a problem to be solved, something which you evaporate to get Instant Enlightenment.

A story really isn't any good unless it successfully resists paraphrase, unless it hangs on and expands in the mind. Properly, you analyze to enjoy, but it's equally true that to analyze with any discrimination, you have to have enjoyed already, and I think that the best reason to hear a story read is that it should stimulate that primary enjoyment.

I don't have any pretensions to being an Aeschylus or Sophocles and providing you in this story with a cathartic experience out of your mythic background, though this story I'm going to read certainly calls up a good deal of the South's mythic background, and it should elicit from you a degree of pity and terror, even though its way of being serious is a comic one.

I do think, though, that like the Greeks you should know what is going to happen in this story so that any element of suspense in it will be transferred from its surface to its interior. I would be most happy if you had already read it, happier still if you knew it well, but since experience has taught me to keep my expectations along these lines modest, I'll tell you that this is the story of a family of six which, on its way driving to Florida, gets wiped out by an escaped convict who calls himself the Misfit.

The family is made up of the Grandmother and her son, Bailey, and his children, John Wesley and June Star and the baby, and there is also the cat and the children's mother.

The cat is named Pitty Sing, and the Grandmother is taking him with them, hidden in a basket. Now I think it behooves me to try to establish with you the basis on which reason operates in this story. Much of my fiction takes its character from a reasonable use of the unreasonable, though the reasonableness of my use of it may not always be apparent.

The assumptions that underlie this use of it, however, are those of the central Christian mysteries. These are assumptions to which a large part of the modern audience takes exception. About this I can only say that there are perhaps other ways than my own in which this story could be read, but none other by which it could have been written. Belief, in my own case anyway, is the engine that makes perception operate.

The heroine of this story, the Grandmother, is in the most significant position life offers the Christian. She is facing death. And to all appearances she, like the rest of us, is not too well prepared for it. She would like to see the event postponed. I've talked to a number of teachers who use this story in class and who tell their students that the Grandmother is evil, that in fact, she's a witch, even down to the cat. One of these teachers told me that his students, and particularly his Southern students, resisted this interpretation with a certain bemused vigor, and he didn't understand why.

I had to tell him that they As a narrative stylist, Flannery O'Connor belongs, however peripherally, to a Pauline or Augustinian tradition extending from Langland to Bunyan and Hawthorne. Her tastes for gothicism, allegory, and regional setting derive from that special admiration for The House of the Seven Gables evident in so many important Southern writers from Faulkner to Truman Capote.

The mingled scorn and sorrow with which Hawthorne faced I'm going to preach there was no Fall because there was nothing to fall from and no Redemption because there was no Fall and no Judgment because there wasn't the first two.

Nothing matters but that Jesus was a liar. In the following excerpt, she compares The Misfit to other violent characters in Southern literature. While, from a statistical point of view considering annual income, national origin, and religion, some of O'Connor's heroes could wander into [Faulkner's fictional setting of] Yoknapatawpha, one senses they would find it totally alien.

Faulkner and Styron build their countries out of the South's greatest literary virtue: The opening page of the story describes the grandmother's attempt to get the family to go to Tennessee instead of Florida on their vacation; this serves as a kind of brief prologue to the rest of the tale, all of which takes place the following day as the family begins its fatal trip to Florida.

VII, Autumn, , pp. II, ] is based on two essential aspects of Protestantism he finds in O'Connor's Voice of the Peacock, Fordham University Press, , pp. In the following excerpt, she views "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" as a clash between "a romanticist creating her own reality and an agnostic cut off from spiritual reality.

A romanticist creating her own reality and an agnostic cut off from spiritual reality come into violent conflict in the title story of the first collection of O'Connor short stories, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. One of her most perfectly wrought artifacts, it relates the The tableau is appropriate: Any brilliant work of fiction resists a single interpretation acceptable to everyone, but judging by the variousness and irreconcilability of so many readings of "A Good Man" one might conclude, as R.

Cassili does, that like the work of Kafka the story "may not be susceptible to This extraordinary irony informs the story in several These children, her grandchildren no less, clearly have no respect for The Grandmother. To be treated in such a fashion at that age, by children of their age, has got to be a bitter pill to swallow.

Bailey and his wife clearly are not interested in The Grandmothers opinions or desires, and the children show only disdain, bordering on contempt, when speaking to The Grandmother.

Their opinions are of no consequence, if even heard. They are rarely noticed at all unless they do something outrageous. I am not dead yet! My opinions do matter! Treat me with the respect I indeed deserve. The elderly have lived a long life, have contributed very much to society, and they should not have to resort to trickery or tantrums to have their voices heard.

They should be treated with the respect they have earned. Order a custom written paper of high quality Professional Writers only. Free Quote or Order now. Tips for Buying a Car in University. On becoming a student, each one gets a sense of freedom and adolescence.

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The Misfit and the Grandmother in Flannery O’ Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" - “A Good Man is hard to find,” a short story written by Flannery O’ Connor, is one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever come across to in my life.

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Essays and criticism on Flannery O’Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find - A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor.

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In Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find", a southern family is taking a vacation to Florida, but the real journey takes place inside the family's lives. One question that comes up in the story is what the definition of a good man is and how there is so few of them left in the world. May 28,  · Free Essays from Bartleby | A Good Man Is Hard To Find The Storm Of the two stories I read, one being The Storm by Kate Chopin and the other being A Good Man.

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In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the character The Misfit expressed his doubt over the teachings of Jesus and God when discussing with the grandmother. He said things pertaining to the thought of losing his faith after he was incarcerated in the penitentiary (O'Connor, "Good Man" ). Is it that hard to find a "good" man in this world? According to Flannery O" Connor, finding a "good" man is hard to do. O"Connor writes the story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," trying to portray the difficulty in finding a "good" man. No one is perfect, but knowing the difference between good and /5(16).