Analysis Of A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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There is a saying, “expect the unexpected.” This turns out to be true in many works of literature, and to some, it may seem so in “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” However, the author, Flannery O’ Connor, subtly provides hints that foreshadows the tragic demise of the family. Through the grandma choosing to have the vacation in Tennessee instead of Florida, the grandma’s fancy ladylike outfit, the descriptive scenery, and the drive during the trip, O’Connor foreshadows the family’s fatal encounter with The Misfit. The family originally intends to travel to Florida for their vacation, but Bailey reluctantly changes the location to Tennessee because the grandma feels that the children could use a change in scenery. Oddly enough, in the same conversation, the grandma reads a newspaper article that informs the family that a man who, “calls himself The Misfit is aloose…and headed towards Florida,” and she explicitly states that she would never “take [her] children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it” (1). The fact that the family is traveling to the same area as The Misfit hints at their encounter in the end of the story. The next day, the family begins the journey. The grandma is the first person in the car, and she sneaks her cat, Pitty Sing, in a basket with a black valise. She refuses to leave the cat behind because there is a possibility that the cat would, “brush against one of the gas burners and accidently asphyxiate himself,” which is one of the many mentions of death that sits in the back of the reader’s mind (10). The grandma makes an effort to appear ladylike, and her outfit greatly contrasts the clothes of those around her. While the grandma wears, “white cotton gloves…[and] a navy blue star sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress… [and] a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet [on her neckline],” her family members wear casual clothing such as slacks and kerchiefs (12). The contrast in clothing symbolizes the grandmother’s selfishness and her lack of concern for others. The grandma explains that she dresses the way she does, “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she [is] a lady,” (12),
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