A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor Essay

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In the short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find, written by Flannery O’Connor, the theme that the definition of a ‘good man’ is mysterious and flawed is apparent. The reader must realize that it is difficult to universalize the definition of a good man because every person goes through different experiences. Thus, these experiences affect his or her viewpoint and in turn flaw ones view on a good man. O’Connor conveys this theme through her excellent use of diction, imagery, foreshadowing, and symbolism as well as through a creative use of repetition and an omniscient point of view.
The grandmother, the main character of the story, is manipulative. Her definition of a ‘good man’ refers to the characteristics that a ‘good man’ should possess.
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She [the grandmother] pointed out interesting details of the scenery: Stone Mountain, the blue granite that in some places came up to both sides of the highway; the brilliant red clay banks slightly streaked with purple; and the various crops that made row of green lace-work on the ground. The trees were full of silver white sunlight and the meanest of them sparkled. (1286)

She uses informal diction to help achieve the targeted theme and her slight use of a southern dialect is one brilliant component that helps her to do so. For example, when the family stops for barbecue sandwiches along their way to Tennessee, the owner’s wife compliments the granddaughter. “’Ain’t she cute?” Red Sam’s wife said, leaning over the counter. “Would you like to come be my little girl?”’ (1287). Adding this southern twist of diction as well as the southern setting helps to illustrate the culture the grandmother was raised in. This helps to bridge the gap between what the reader’s definition of a good man may be, based off of their cultural upbringing, and the grandmother’s definition of a good man. This gap reinforces the O’Conner’s idea that there cannot be a universal definition of a good man.
Imagery is used flawlessly in this short story. O’Connor uses descriptive adjectives fairly often to paint a picture in the reader’s mind and to add spice to her
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