“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” a 1953 short story by Flannery O’Connor, remains one of this author’s most controversial works.

You are watching: A good man is hard to find literary criticism

This story by author of modern-day Southern gothic was initially publimelted in 1953 in an anthology of contemporary writing, and also in 1960, it was the eponymous title of O’Connor’s own anthology of her gathered short stories. Since it has actually appeared in many type of anthologies, this story is one of her best known, if not necessarily her best.

The story begins as a male named Bailey wishes to take his household on a road expedition from Georgia to Florida. His mom, who is sindicate referred to as “the grandmother” argues that they should go to East Tenneswatch rather. She has actually checked out a news post in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that escaped murderer called “The Misfit” was spotted in Florida.

A brief analysis of “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

This analysiswas added by Jillian McKevery own, excerpted from Feminist Quick Stories: Horror & SCi-Fi (Part 1):

I kbrand-new incredibly little bit around Flannery O’Connor when this arsenal of short stories was recommended to me. I kbrand-new that O’Connor was Irish Catholic, and also that the stories were composed in the mid-20th century.

Needmuch less to say, as I finiburned the first story, which is additionally the namesake for my certain edition, I was entirely taken aago.“The perchild that said that I read this must have warned me!” I thought. Like so many kind of of the other stories in this post, it’s thrilling to review a gem so subversive that it still shocks practically seventy years later on.

Murderer on the loose

As the story begins, we fulfill a family members consisted of of three young children, their mom and father, and also the paternal grandmother. Like many kind of of O’Connor’s various other writings, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is collection in the South, and as the family embarks on a road pilgrimage to Florida we learn that a murderer is on the loose by the nickname, “The Misfit.”

From begin to complete, the grandmother is a pill. She believes the previous was finest, kids must be quiet, women should always be women, and also her opinion is constantly appropriate.

Basically, she’s the Southern queen of unsolicited advice. O’Connor is a master at tapping in on a personality type that annoys a lot of world because they are in everyone’s resides in some develop.

. . . . . . . . . .

*

See also: Flannery O’Connor on the Grotesque in Fiction. . . . . . . . . .

A lengthy road trip

Due to the fact that of that, we as readers are extended participants in this very long road expedition. In enhancement to being an professional character examine, O’Connor takes us on a pilgrimage through 1940s/50s Georgia in the summer.

It’s hot and also dusty via a killer on the loose. They are alone on the road in a deserted component of the state wright here gas stations come only intermittently, setting a tone that leaves us unsure of our surroundings and also insecure around the future.

As the pilgrimage goes on, the grandmom sends the family on a wild goose chase, seeking out physical proof of a misinserted memory. This dirt detour sends out the family into a downward spiral that puts them confront to face via what the grandmother hoped to stop from the outset – the Misfit.

. . . . . . . . . .

*

A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories on Amazon*. . . . . . . . . .

An unfolding of a multitude of layers

At first read, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” might seem choose nothing even more than a story about an very annoying grandmom and a gang of psychos.

However, this is one of those great stories that unfolds a multitude of onion-prefer layers that encompasses race, faith, course and also poverty, area, crime, place in history, Civil Rights, and also gender roles, among others.

However before you choose to check out this story, as one of good old-fashioned murder, or a story of murder inextricably bound through issues of course, race and also religion, you are left with similar sense of dcheck out, and also maybe just a hint of schadenfreude as the grandmother finally gets her lips zipped.

Contributed by Jillian McKeown; excerpted from Feminist Brief Stories: Horror & SCi-Fi (Part 1) on Exploring Feminisms.

. . . . . . . . . . .

*

Flannery O’Connor on the Grotesque in Fiction. . . . . . . . . . .

How the story begins

The grandmom didn’t want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tenneswatch and she was seizing at eextremely chance to readjust Bailey’s mind. Bailey was the child she lived via, her just boy. He was sitting on the edge of his chair at the table, bent over the oselection sporting activities area of the Journal.

“Now look here, Bailey,” she sassist, “watch right here, review this,” and she stood through one hand also on her thin hip and also the various other rattling the newspaper at his bald head. “Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and also headed towards Florida and you check out right here what it claims he did to these human being. Just you check out it. I wouldn’t take my children in any kind of direction via a criminal choose that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscientific research if I did.”

Bailey didn’t look up from his reading so she rolled around then and faced the children’s mom, a young woguy in slacks, whose confront was as wide and innocent as a cabbage and was tied roughly with a green head-kerchief that had actually 2 points on the top choose rabbit’s ears.

See more: What Do The Nodes In A Cladogram Represent ? Biology Chapter 18 Flashcards

She was sitting on the sofa, feeding the baby his apricots out of a jar. “The kids have actually been to Florida before,” the old lady shelp. “You all should take them elsewhere for a change so they would view different parts of the people and also be broad. They never before have been to east Tennescheck out.”

. . . . . . . . . .

*This is an Amazon Affiliate link. If the product is purchased by linking with, Literary Ladies Guide receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and also helps it to proceed growing!