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A Good Man is Hard to Find Analysis


“An Excellent Man is Hard to Find” is a narrative written by Flannery O’Connor, a significant American writer and essayist. Her composing style reflects the ethnic relation in the South and her own Christian faith. The author writes in third person minimal point of view to represent the tragic journey of a family who lived in Georgia in 1953.

Bailey wants to take his household to Florida, but his mom, “the grandma” disagrees with him because there’s a hazardous criminal called The Misfit who is also on the way to Florida.

Bailey neglects the granny’s concern and headed to Florida. On the roadway, The kids and the grandma convince Bailey to drive them to the see a plantation which the grandma went to when she was a lady. Regrettably, the household enters into a mishap on the desolate dust roadway to the plantation. The only thing the household can do is to await assistance, and it turns out that their aid is none other than The Misfit and his friends. The Misfit orders his buddies to take all the member of the family other than the grandmother into the wood and shoot them.

Hopelessly, the grandmother calls The Misfit her kid and wishes to touch him on the shoulder, however this outrages The Misfit. As a result, he shoots the grandma three times on the chest. The author uses characterization, foreshadowing, and irony to illustrate the style that the propensity to manipulate individuals’s actions and ideas may introduce tragic results to the love ones.

In the narrative “A Good Male is Hard to Find”, the author uses both direct characterization and indirect characterization to display the selfishness of the grandma, the innocence of the children, and

the wickedness of The Misfit. In the exposition of the story, the grandmother wishes to go to Tennessee to visit her connections instead going to Florida, so she tells Bailey that he “should take [the kids] somewhere else for a modification so they would see various parts of the world and be board. They have actually never ever been to east Tennessee” (O’Connor 403). From this quote the readers can perceive that the grandma is proficient at manipulating her kid by stating that going to Tennessee can be helpful to the kids in order to achieve her own function.

She likewise mentions that The Misfit is likewise en route to Florida and she “couldn’t response to [her] conscience” (O’Connor 402) if she brings the kids to Florida. In this quote, the grandmother uses the word “conscience” to danger Bailey with the concept that he is going to put his kids in risk, so he would quit the trip to Florida.

In Katherine Keil’s article “O’Connor’s ‘Great Man is Hard to Discover'”, Katherine evaluates “A Great Guy is Difficult to Find” and comments that “the grandmother reveals her indifference for production by selfishly controling and nagging to get her way on the household’s trip “(Keil 45).

Keil’s analysis is affordable since through the interactions in between the grandmother and other relative on the problem about the household journey, the grandmother is used to manipulate people’s choices by taking advantage of the susceptible side of individuals’s mind and being self-centered without understanding it herself. The kids, John Wesley and June Star, are innocent compare to their selfish grandmother. After the household encounter The Misfit in the country, John Wesley notifications that The Misfit is holding a weapon, so he asks him: “‘What you got that weapon for?”‘(O’Connor 410).

Under this kind of scenario, most likely the majority of the people would be peaceful in order to prevent problem, but John Wesley discusses the gun even if he is just curious. Unfortunately, his query brings The Misfit into action, and leads to catastrophe. Although The Misfit is not present until the final pages of the story, he influences the story from the exposition of the story when the granny tells Bailey that he flees from the jail, and is on the method to Florida.

The author uses a clear and detailed direct characterization to portray The Misfit when he initially appears in the story. The author explains him as a male whose Hair just starting to gray and he wore silver rimmed eyeglasses that gave him an academic look.

He had a long creased face and didn’t have on any t-shirt or undershirt. He had on blue jeans that were too tight for him and was holding a black hat and a gun. (O’Connor 410) It is easy for the readers to understand that he is a villain from his appearance– long ceased face, unsuited clothing, holding a weapon, a typical picture of villains.

The conversations in between The Misfit and the grandma likewise reveal the evil inside The Misfit. After the execution of Bailey and his child, The Misfit tells the grandma that he” discovered the crime does not matter. You can do one thing or you can do another, kill a man or take a tire off his cars and truck, since quicker you’re going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it”(O’Connor 414).

John Desmond’s, a professor of English at Whitman College made remark in his short article that” the Misfit acts under the delusion that his actions are in some way great, i. e. good for him. Given that he can not understand his spiritual condition, he now tries to decrease ethical mystery to a perverse pleasure-pain concept”(Desmond135).

Desmond’s remark exposes the attribute of The Misfit due to the fact that The Misfit’s behavior exhibits that his values is tangled, and he has actually developed his own philosophy, which is wicked and lawless. As a result, his philosophy blinded his conscience, and make his sinful actions look naturally suitable to himself. Besides characterization, foreshadowing is also a substantial literary aspect throughout the story.

The author uses foreshadowing to give the story its air of thriller, and to hint the outcome of the story. At the beginning of the story, the granny refers to the news that “The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed towards Florida” (O’Connor 402). At first, the grandmother just wants to utilize this frightening news to threaten Bailey, and tries to alter his mind. The recommendation to a harmful criminal raises an indication of hazardousness. The grandma’s dress on the day of departure likewise foreshadows the misery of the family.

” [S] he had on navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print. Her collars and cuffs were organdy trimmed with lace and at her neck line she had actually pinned a purple spray of fabric violets containing a sachet”(O’Connor 404). In the book Short Stories for Students, the author of the post ‘Summary: “A Great Guy is Hard to Discover”‘ analysis that” as the family prepares to embark on their trip, the grandma prepares her clothing with an eye toward catastrophe”(Short Stories for Trainees 103).

Wilson’s analysis is fair since when individuals pass away, they normally are dressed in their best clothing, similar to the grandmother is dressed in her finest clothing, so its clear that the grandma holds a downhearted view on the household trip. On their way to Florida, the family “passed a large cotton field with five or six tombs fenced the middle of it, like a small island”(O’Connor 404).

It is quite troubling for individuals who are on a household trip to see thing like graveyard, and the variety of the graves plainly represent the six relative, including the baby. When the family are waiting for assistance after the mishap, they come across The

Misfit, who drives “a huge black battered hearse-like automobile” (O’Connor 409). It is really apparent that the appearance of the cars and truck is an energetic example of foreshadowing, which foreshadows the catastrophe that will take place. In Arthur F. Bethea’s short article, he mentions that “O’Connor’s villain is relentlessly associated with death: he worked as an undertaker, drives a black “hearse-like vehicle,”‘(Bethea 239). Bthea’s interpretation is vigorous because the image of a hearse-like automobile gives rise to a bodeful environment which perfectly foreshadows the launching of The Misfit.

Besides characterization and foreshadowing, paradox is another necessary literary component that assists to perform the purpose and the style of the whole story. Both verbal paradox and situational paradox are used by the author in this story to show how the grandma’s manipulative behaviors lead the whole family into fatal scenario.

In the exposition of the story, the granny cautions Bailey that she “wouldn’t take [her] children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it “(O’Connor 402).

Paradoxically, she is exactly the person who take the family into dangerousness when she deliberately delights the kids in order to force Bailey to take them to see the plantation, where they meet The Misfit. In order to encourage Bailey, the grandmother announces that taking the kids to the old plantation “would be very academic for them”(O’Connor 408). To inform the children is not the purpose of the trip to the plantation in the grandmother’s mind, it is simply an excuse that utilized to camouflage her selfishness.

In Stanley Renne’s post he comments that the granny is a “blind old woman, a failed moms and dad who has destroyed her own offspring, with an incorrect and destructive dream of the past and an equally incorrect and devastating self-perception in the present”(Renner 127).

Renne’s analysis is reasonable since the grandma constantly desires others to accept her idea, and require his family members to do what she thinks is right and what she believes benefits them, but the granny doesn’t view that herself is being self-centered and sentimental all the time.

As a result of her selfishness and fond memories, the granny ultimately brings bad luck to the family. After the cars and truck mishap, the kid states: “But no one’s killed”(O’Connor 409) with terrific frustration. It is very awkward that a kid could has this sort of terrible thought, and it is an example of spoken paradox since at the end of the story every relative gets killed ultimately. Another paradox occurs when the grandma is giving her grandkids a lecture on respecting others.

She announces that in the old times “kids were more respectful of their native states and their parents and whatever else”(O’Connor 404), but at the very same time, she saw an African American child on the roadside and states: “Oh look at that charming pickninny” (O’Connor 404). It is ironic that the grandmother is teaching her grandkids the significance of regard while she calls an African American kid pickninny, which is disrespectful.

In Stephen Brandy’s article he analysis and describe the grandmother as a old lady who” is filled with the prejudices of her class and her time” (Brandy 110). Brandy’s comment is agreeable due to the fact that although the grandma’s discussions make her seems like a great and conventional Southern old lady, her meaningless insult on African Americans reveals that the bigotry is rooted in her mind for a long time that even herself does not discover it, or she neglect this issue deliberately.

I the narrative “An Excellent Guy is Difficult to Find”, the author applies characterization, foreshadowing, and paradox to show the style that the tendency to control people’s actions and thoughts might introduce awful results to the love ones. By utilizing both direct and indirect characterization, the author has the ability to depict the characters in information, and produce a vibrant image of interactions between characters.

Foreshadowing is also an important literary aspect that the author uses in this short story since foreshadowing gives the story its air of suspense thus make the story more interesting and significant. Through both situational paradox and spoken paradox, the author demonstrates how the grandmother’s character trait brings misery to the family, and unlock the theme of the story. Being manipulative not just ranges a person from his/her household, however also could trigger problem to the love ones.

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