Old vs New South, paper based on Flannery O'Conner's book A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Essay by Keith E. ChadwellUniversity, Master'sA+, July 1994

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Paper based on Flannery O'Conner's book A Good Man is Hard to Find -

Old vs New South

In Flannery O'Connor's stories, 'A Good Man is Hard to Find' and 'Good Country People,' a change from the old south to the new south is quite evident. O'Connor uses these stories to show the differences between the old and new south and to voice her disapproval as to what the south was becoming. What upset O'Connor about the new south can be shown by carefully examining and interpreting these stories.

In the story 'A Good Man is Hard to Find', O'Connor uses many different characters as representatives of different generations in the same family and uses these generations as examples of the change from the old to the new south. O'Connor uses the main character of the grandmother to represent what the south once was. One of the characteristics of the old south that the grandmother displays, is the need to keep herself looking like a lady.

For instance, O'Connor writes:

Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady. (O'Connor 11)

By giving the grandmother the great need to be dressed like a lady, O'Connor makes this character a throwback to a time of white gloves, flowered hats, and women always wearing dresses. Situations like this firmly place the grandmother in a very old south role.

Contrary to the role of the grandmother, O'Connor uses the person she recognizes as the children's mother to show what the south was becoming:

Bailey didn't look up from his reading so she...