A Good Man is Hard to Find

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1 March 2016

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The grandmother identifies herself as a southern lady based on appearance, money, and background. She is the main character in this short story and also the only character that the narrator actually shows into the mind of. The grandmother is the reason for the title of this story because she repeats throughout the story about a “good man”, when there really is no good man in this whole story. The grandmother also is used in many ways to foreshadow the upcoming events in the story; such as “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (O’Connor 354)

The grandmother is identified by appearance in that she compares the way she is dressed to the way the mother is dressed. The mother is told to be dressed in “slacks and still had her green kerchief” and the grandmother describes herself as having “on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print” (O’Connor 354). She wanted to make sure that “anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (O’Connor 354).

Money is something important to the grandmother that we can also identify her by. The grandmother thought very highly of Mr. Teagarden because she says that June Star “would have done well to marry Mr. Teagarden because he was a gentleman and had bought Coca-Cola stock when it first came out and that he had died only a few years ago, a very wealthy man” (O’Connor 355). Red Sam is a “good man” in the grandmother’s eyes, which is probably because he is a wealthy owner of his own store (O’Connor 356).

Where the grandmother is from and how she is raised is also a big part in identifying her. In the beginning of the story, the grandmother describes how she wants to go to Tennessee for their vacation instead of Georgia. When John Wesley says something about it, the grandmother gets defensive over where she grew up, she says to him “I wouldn’t talk about my native country that way” (O’Connor 354). Later in the story, the mother goes to a jukebox and plays “The Tennessee Waltz” kind of just to rub it in to the grandmother that they were not, in fact, going to Tennessee. Another time in the story, the grandmother says that she recognizes where they were while on the way to Georgia. But it turns out, she was just recalling when she was in Tennessee “when she was a young lady” (O’Connor 357).

Flannery O’Connor is such a good author, and that shows especially in this piece. She identifies the grandmother through appearance, money, and background. Appearance, such as the way she compares herself to the mother, how she talks about how Mr. Teagarden was “very-good looking”, and talking about the Misfit’s crew and their attire.

Outline
I. Introduction:

The grandmother identifies herself as a southern lady based on appearance, money, and background. She is the main character in this short story and also the only character that the narrator actually shows into the mind of. The grandmother is the reason for the title of this story because she repeats throughout the story about a “good man”, when there really is no good man in this whole story. The grandmother also is used in many ways to foreshadow the upcoming events in the story; such as “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.”

II. Appearance:

The grandmother is identified by appearance in that she compares the way she is dressed to the way the mother is dressed. The mother is told to be dressed in “slacks and still had her green kerchief” and the grandmother describes herself as having “on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print.” She wanted to make sure that “anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.”

III. Money:

Money is something important to the grandmother that we can also identify her by. The grandmother thought very highly of Mr. Teagarden because she says that June Star “would have done well to marry Mr. Teagarden because he was a gentleman and had bought Coca-Cola stock when it first came out and that he had died only a few years ago, a very wealthy man.” Red Sam is a “good man” in the grandmother’s eyes, which is probably because he is a wealthy owner of his own store.

IV. Background:

Where the grandmother is from and how she is raised is also a big part in identifying her. In the beginning of the story, the grandmother describes how she wants to go to Tennessee for their vacation instead of Georgia. When John Wesley says something about it, the grandmother gets defensive over where she grew up, she says to him “I wouldn’t talk about my native country that way.” Later in the story, the mother goes to a jukebox and plays “The Tennessee Waltz” kind of just to rub it in to the grandmother that they were not, in fact, going to Tennessee. Another time in the story, the grandmother says that she recognizes where they were while on the way to Georgia. But it turns out, she was just recalling when she was in Tennessee “when she was a young lady.”

V. Conclusion:

Flannery O’Connor is such a good author, and that shows especially in this piece. She identifies the grandmother through appearance, money, and background.

Works Cited:
O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. X.J. Kennedy and Gioias eds. Pearson: New York, 2012. 352-365. Print.

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