A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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A Good Man is hard to Find By: Marcus Trotta E-mail: mvtpinheiro@usa.net "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O?Connor, tells the metaphorical tale of a family's fatal confrontation with The Misfit, an escaped serial killer. The incidents and characters throughout the story are aspects of a plot intending to symbolize the spiritual grace passed from one human to another, without regard for kindness or evil. Di Renzo says in his book American Gargoyles that many critics have objections to "A good man is hard to find" because of O'Connor's elaborate comic depiction of the grandmother and her family. He goes on to say that because the family is so ludicrous, "so irredeemably gauche and petty," that it would be impossible for the reader to sympathize with them, even when the misfit is massacring them. The prominent character in O'Connor's story is the grandmother, who embodies this grace.

By including imperfections in the development of the grandmother's character, O'Connor shows the indiscriminatory property of grace she possesses. The grandmother is the most developed character of the story. She contains several traits that coincide with the stereotypical elderly southern woman. Some of her notions are bizarre and trivial, and ignored by her family, such as the possible attack by The Misfit, a trip to Tennessee instead of Florida, and a fear of feline asphyxiation. John Wesley and June Star have little if any respect for their paternal grandmother. "She has to go everywhere we go," whines June Star. The grandmother also dresses immaculately, even for a car trip, simply because in an accident "anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady". She calls attention to pointless details such as mileage, the speed of the car, and scenic roadside attractions.