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A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge - Essay Example

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Flannery O’Connor is known for her few short stories that were published during and after her lifetime. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” was released in the year 1955 along with other short pieces of fiction…
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A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge
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A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge

Download file to see previous pages... Flannery O’Connor is known for her few short stories that were published during and after her lifetime. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” was released in the year 1955 along with other short pieces of fiction. In these two stories we can see how the characters’ beliefs and their lack of ability to adapt themselves to their surroundings and the daily changes that are occurring in the world have an impact on their lives as well as of those around them. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a story about a middleclass family living in the Atlantis. The family consists of a grandmother, her son and his wife, and their three children. It is the unnamed grandmother who is shown to be having the strongest character out of all of them. She is the prime example of someone who thoroughly showcases her belief in Christianity – or the way that she interprets the religion to be like – and is very selfish with respect to others and what they want. To her, it is only her needs that count and the others should ignore theirs just to fulfill what she wants. She believes in knowing her family roots and acting appropriately so she dresses like a lady even though they are not rich. The way she reacts later on when the family is passing by the cotton fields makes it clear that she is also quite prejudiced against the African Americans even though the others are more accepting. When her son informs her of the trip to Florida, she gets into a rage and insists on going to East Tennessee instead since that is where the family home is and she wants to visit it. However, the rest of the family does not agree with her plans and to take revenge, she tries to make the journey as uncomfortable as possible for the rest of them. Clearly, she is not the stereotyped grandmother who sacrifices her wants for those of her grandchildren or her own children but, rather, it is the other way round. She shows her son news – “Now look here, Bailey, see here, read this” – about a gang in Florida who were known murderers, the head of which was a man called the Misfit (O'Connor, A Good Man Is Hard To Find par. 1). This was to warn him off since travelling in the same area where a gang of murderers was rumored to be was not safe for the family to go to – anything that would influence her son into changing his mind about going to Florida was welcome regardless of how serious the news actually was. However, that tactic did not work either as Bailey just ignores her. It is because of her selfishness that she wants to ruin the vacation of the rest of the family since her demands are not being fulfilled. During the road trip, she mentions remembering a mansion in Florida and, surprisingly enough, the children express intent of seeing it for themselves. The family – not realizing that her old age and manipulative streak meant a conveniently faulty memory – agree to go and look for it. Bailey tells the family that it would be “the one and only time ... (they were) going to stop” (O'Connor, A Good Man Is Hard To Find par. 53) as they could not afford to do that repeatedly. Ironically enough, his last words do come true to the last bit. That stop does end up being their last stop to anywhere on earth. The grandmother’s cat creates chaos, distracting Bailey and leading to a car accident. That is not the real tragedy though; they do come out safe, the wife with the broken arm being the only casualty other than the busted up car, of course. But, the crash nudges the Misfit and his crew out of hiding. Once they see the family, the Misfit stays with the grandmother who professes that she recognized him from the papers and unconsciously leads ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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