Analysis of O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find Essay

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Analysis of O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find

"The grandmother didn't want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey's mind. Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy. He was sitting on the edge of his chair at the table, bent over the orange sports section of the Journal. 'Now look here, Bailey,' she said, 'see here, read this,' and she stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head."

The story opens not with an image but with a sound ? that of the grandmother talking, incessantly and determinedly, as she does throughout the tale. Thus, in these opening sentences, we are already being
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The story ends where a murder mystery or crime report might begin, and we can imagine a detective retracing the family?s journey from Atlanta to The Tower to the dirt road, interviewing witnesses along the way. ?The grandmother? is how such witnesses would refer to the character, or as ?the old lady? ? and most certainly, not as ?the well-dressed lady with the violets on her brim,? as the grandmother might imagine bystanders commenting.

But there is a further significance to the phrase, ?the grandmother?: Both the viewpoint and the article, ?the,? link her character with The Misfit. When he encounters her after the car crash, he will see her in this impersonal way, deprived of her individuality as his nickname deprives him of his. This is quite ironic. Just as the press has stripped the fugitive of his proper name, so does the narrator of ?A Good Man Is Hard to Find? strip the grandmother of hers, creating a dark parallel between the two. The polite, well-mannered, southern lady, her racist views firmly intact, collides with her ?trashy,? criminal, country cousin ? one of her ?babies,? as the grandmother exclaims. And if we wish to draw parallels between the two characters, there are plenty: Like the Misfit, she is commanding, imperious and threatening. Both have strong wills. The grandmother wields her tongue, The Misfit, his gun.

What chiefly establishes the

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