Literary Analysis

1773 Words Jun 15th, 2013 8 Pages
A Literary Analysis on Flanner O 'Connor 's “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
Written by ShaLynn M. Andrews
Flannery O 'Connor 's short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is about a Georgia family on their way to Florida for a vacation and the day ending in disaster and murder. The story opens with the grandmother, also being the main character, trying to convince her son, Bailey, not to go to Florida; she had just read an article about a recently escaped convict, the Misfit, who was supposedly heading to Florida. The next morning, the family, including the grandmother, her son, her son 's wife, their baby and two kids, along with the grandmother’s cat, leave for the vacation. Shortly into the story, the family stops for something to eat at
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The grandmother, through her moment of religious grace, has seen the humanity of the Misfit and calls him “one of her babies”. According to an article by Jessica Hooten, the grandmother exemplifies “self-focus and self-righteousness [attitude]; she initiates every problem in the story from the first sentence: "The grandmother didn 't want to go to Florida" (O 'Connor, 264).” Disregarding the desires of her family, the grandmother prioritizes her desire to stay home. Many literary critics see the grandmother as being a hypocritical, judgmental, manipulative, prideful instigator. In the novel, the grandmother “knew that Bailey [her son] would not be willing to lose any time looking at an old house, but the more she talked about it, the more she wanted to see it once again and find out if the little twin arbors were still standing.”There was a secret panel in this house,” she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were..” (O 'Connor, 268).
Using this lie to excite and coax the children, she knew it would annoy Bailey enough to finally give in and the grandmother would get what she wants. In a recent article, Stanley Renner wrote that the view of the grandmother 's moment of ascension “seems to demand more sympathy than the story grants her. The author has characterized the grandmother so that is is virtually impossible to say anything unquestionably good about her. One cannot even fall back on the excuse that she means well, since most of what she
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