A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND WHAT WE HAVE HERE… Short story called « A Good Man Is Hard To Find » has been written by Flannery O’Connor, southern writer of 20th century, in 1955, 3rd person narrativ American novelist, short story writer and essayist, from a catholic family, influenced by Poe. Uses elements of grotesque and empathy (ex. Hutchback of Notre Dame) THE TEXT RAISES…. story of a grandmother reads newspaper : criminal calls « The Misfit » -GM ; family (her son, his wife, his two children ; the baby) leave to Florida (playing games, GM explain children are not respectful with their native state, tells about a man, Mr.
Edgar Atkins who had courted her) -stopped at « the Tower », Red Sammy’s & his wife’s restaurant, GM spoke about « The Misfit », RD says he’d be not suprised if he came here -GM saw old house towards plantations : family’s silver hidden in the house -BREAK : accident of the car, GM reminded her the house was in Tenessee not in Georgia -a car stopped with 3 men : GM recognized « the Misfit » who seem familiar to her her son, Bailey, go into woods and died – GM started become crazy, said him to
pray Jesus, he’s a good boy => alone with « The Misfit » Misfit killed GM (says that he was « her son ») « Southern Gothic » = gothic literature mixes horror & romance (Poe) unique to American literature, both empathy and disgust way to explore social and cultural issues and the South American South : social issue race relations + Civil War (big influence 1920’s : antebellum literature « damsel in mistress », « chivalrous gentleman », « heroic knight » « Grotesque » = meaning small cave or hollow William Faulkner (influence FO’C), influal Southern writers rotesque characters : Elephant Man, Gollum, the Beast (Beauty & the Beast) « The story is a duel of sorts between the GM and her superficial beliefs and the Misfit’s more profoundly felt involvment with Christ’s action, which set the world off balance for him » FO’C MAIN CHARACTERS… GM : Manipulator. selfish = manipulate people -« She was seizing … » l. 2 tries to get Bailey to go in Florida by scaring him with reports of a criminal : « I wouldn’t… » l. 7-8 -implies the children « The children have been to Florida before » l. 4 -when she wants to go to the house towards the plantations : implies children « There was a secret panel… » l. 165-166-167 important part of herself : -considers herself like a lady « her collars and cuffs […] she was a lady » l. 46 if she’s going to die, she better wants to look like a lady «I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady » l. 398-399 -part a matter of appearances : « In my time[… ]people did right then » l. 62-63 + symbol of the hat l. 223-224 : hat broken, she loose her moral codes and dignity > For the grandmother, being « good » is coming from the right people and behaving as a lady. In her own mind, the grandmother is certainly a « good person, » as are all people of her social class. MISFIT: He just doesn’t understand why he’s been punished for what he did. « I call myself[… ]through the punishment. » l. 394-395 Religion : meaness + punishment : always dispropotionate the crime original sin almost against God In the text, the Misfit doesn’t change his moral codes : his code win because he’s not religious => Misfit more aware of reality