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Good Man is Hard to Find

A Good Man is Hard to Find research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

A Good Man Is Hard to Find research paper shows that literary characters come alive in relationship to their environments, or setting(s) of the story.  In each of the micro-settings of Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find—the home, the car, The Tower and ultimately the ditch by the woods—the grandmother directs and reflects the underlying tensions of foreshadowing and irony in the story. 

Characters in A Good Man is Hard To Fine

 Good Man is Hard to Find

The grandmother in A Good Man Is Hard to Find symbolizes the central antipathy of trust/mistrust, Christ/Antichrist, and godliness/moral decay of the story.  In the home she shares with her son and his family, grandmother functions as an oracle.  Her warnings about the escaped Misfit land on deaf ears. Perhaps because her warning was a false one designed to scare the family from going to Florida instead of going where she wanted—Tennessee. When one analyzes the story we realize that the home births the family into the world in A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

Once in the car, their destiny is incubated through the discord, the deceit (the grandmother has hidden the cat) and the violent behavior of the children.  The grandmother is portrayed as a Christ-like figure, sitting in the middle of the back seat with June Star and John Wesley on either side of her–Christ on the cross, flanked by two outlaws.

The family has one opportunity at The Tower to stop their headlong ride to hell.  Red Sammy, a whiney oracle says, “A good man is hard to find. Everything is getting terrible… Take heed, family.  Don’t go on!

Setting of A Good Man is Hard To Fine

Finally, the setting of O'Conners's A Good Man Is Hard to Find shifts with the story after the family’s car tumbles into a “red gutted ditch” from which they will never escape.

There are several micro-settings in the novel, which are:

  • The Home
  • The Car
  • The Tower
  • The Ditch by the Woods

“Behind the ditch they were sitting in there were more woods, tall and dark and deep” –ominous symbolism that portends their horrible destiny.  As if the maw of hell were ready to greet them, “…the line of woods gaped like a dark open mouth”.. The mouth of the woods, dark and dangerous, also suggests the grandmother’s incessantly open mouth–full of rancor, ambivalent memories and pride. Both the woods and the grandmother’s self-absorbed stream of words deliver danger. In the end of A Good Man Is Hard to Find, the grandmother uses her mouth/words to save herself, not her family, but herself. It is an example of symbolism in the short story.

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Analyzing a Short Story - A common assignment on Analyzing A Short Story is as follows: Analyzing a Short Story Here is an example, using Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find.