Elements of a Southern Atmosphere in O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"

1878 Words May 16th, 2013 8 Pages
Georgia Crick
Eng 102 Davis
Short Story Essay Revision
May 6, 2013
Elements of a Southern Atmosphere in O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” and Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” Though the short stories “A Rose for Emily” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” differ in plot, theme, voice, and many other aspects, both contain similar characters and settings. The authors of these highly acclaimed Southern Gothic works, have skillfully and eloquently created intricate characters and imagery that portray many elements of Southern life. Flannery O’Connor’s, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” tells of the tragic events that take place during a family’s road trip to Tennessee, which ultimately ends in their unsightly demise at the hands of a notorious
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For example, he writes, “now Miss Emily had gone to join the representatives of those august names where they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson” (244). Faulkner is describing the cemetery at which Miss Emily is being laid to rest, which is filled with the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fought in the Civil War; a war which is arguably the single most defining and important event in Southern history. In both “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “A Rose for Emily,” the authors portray primary female leads which depict many typical and sometimes stereotypical, Southern ideals and values. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find, “the lead character, the Grandmother, epitomizes the stereotype of an elderly southern woman. O’Connor skillfully conveys the Grandmother’s superficiality by describing the over-the-top outfit she wears on the day of the trip, writing, “Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (406). The Grandmother assigns value to being a “lady” among all other virtues, placing the physical appearance of herself and others of the utmost importance. The grandmother is also nostalgic of the past, and constantly reminisces about the
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