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The Themes of a Good Man Is Hard to Find Essay


The vision of Flannery O’Connor is one that is unmatched in the literary world. Her creative foresight and Southern background allow her to develop a fascinating setting interesting the reader. A prime example of her literary method is when she has the grandmother reading the short article about a left convict running away to Florida. “Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is a loose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you check out here what it states he did to these people” (O’Connor 1).

The grandmother goes on to firmly insist the household needs to go on holiday to east Tennessee instead of Florida, and will not have it any other method. “The kids have actually been to Florida before,” the old woman said. “You all should take them somewhere else for a modification so they would see various parts of the world and be broad. They never ever’ve been to east Tennessee” (2 ). This reveals the granny’s officious and manipulative character traits to the reader. This selection is likewise here to present the Misfit and keep the reader wondering about why this short article read, and if it suggests or foreshadows anything.

Another point that exhibits O’Connor’s foreshadowing strategy is when she broadens on the grandma’s self-interest in her appearance, and ends with the quote, “In case of an accident, anybody seeing her dead on the highway would know simultaneously that she was a girl” (O’Connor 2). This presages that the grandmother’s selfishness and imperfect character traits will come into play later on in the story, and ultimately bring her to her demise, foreshadowed by the mention of death in the quote.

A third instance of foreshadowing is when Bailey, the daddy, turns the car around to go back to a dirt roadway heading to a plantation where the granny had gone to years earlier. “All right,” Bailey states, “however get this: this is the only time we’re going to pick up anything like this. This is the one and just time” (9 ). “His warning to everyone that this will be their only stop is darkly paradoxical” (Johansen 15). The 3 above cases are ideal examples of O’Connor’s remarkable genius and excellent foreshadowing strategies as a writer.

Another way the author makes the story more pleasurable and more thought provoking is the emphasis on differing opinions of religious beliefs. The grandmother first raises religion when she asks the Misfit if he ever prays. She does this to see if the Misfit is a religious man that may have a kind heart and extra her life. When the Misfit answers, “No, Ma’am,” the grandma starts to attempt to talk her way out of death. “Jesus!” the old woman cried. “You’ve got great blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a woman! I know you come from nice individuals! Hope! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a woman. I’ll provide you all the money I have actually got!

” (O’Connor 17). The Misfit then compares himself to Jesus. In the story, the Misfit informs the grandmother he was thrown into a penitentiary for killing his father. The Misfit declares he did not do this and does not understand why they threw him in prison, however the authorities have documents on him, so there is no usage in trying to argue his way out of jail. He compares his case to Jesus, specifying that, “Jesus tossed whatever off balance. It was the very same case with Him as with me, except He had not dedicated any criminal activity and they might prove I had devoted one because they had the papers on me.

Obviously,’ he said, ‘they never revealed me my papers” (O’Connor 18). This once again reveals the deep religious ties this story has. “This choice is in a sense paradoxical because the Misfit is the bad guy in the story, yet O’Connor attempts to make the reader feel compassion towards him. Later the story, nonetheless, it is shown that there is a strong possibility that the Misfit did eliminate his father, and the reader’s pity is stripped from him, leaving him bare in his own ruthlessness” (Johansen 7).

A 3rd example of this religious style is when the Misfit exposes his opinion on spiritual faith. “If He (Jesus) did what he stated, then its nothing for you to do however throw away whatever and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then its nothing for you to do but delight in the few minutes you got left the best way you can” (O’Connor 18). By this, the Misfit indicates that in his opinion there is no genuine gray area in religious beliefs, either one chooses to think what Jesus did or one does not, and they must accept the consequences.

These 3 major instances work as a foundation for O’Connor’s style of religion. In “An Excellent Man is Difficult To Find”, 2 main plot points are the characters’ ideas about religious beliefs and the use of vision and foreshadowing. Both of these subjects are well illustrated in the text by the author, offering appropriate examples and planting originalities in the readers’ mind. These two components serve for the basis of a monstrous, yet extremely suspenseful and intriguing story that will leave you believing and wondering.

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