A Good Man is Hard to Find
by Flannery O'Connor
A Good Man is Hard to Find Theme of Family
Besides its more serious themes, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" contains some mercilessly funny comedy about a dysfunctional family, and the ways they get on each other's nerves. You know, the kind of family that could be in a National Lampoon movie? There's the two troublesome and annoying kids, the hot-headed dad who tries to maintain control of a situation and fails, the wife busy attending to the baby, and the grandmother, who's a case all to herself (and also the main character). Though the story starts out seeming like a comedy, it takes a serious turn when the family encounters a criminal, who kills them one by one. Whether this family members attract any genuine sympathy from the reader, or from each other, or whether they death presents little more than a black comedy is an issue up for debate.
Questions About Family
- Is the family in the story a caricature of a family, or are they realistic in certain aspects? Why?
- Are there any points in the story at which one of the family members comes across as sympathetic? If so, where are they? If not, why?
- Do any of the family members care for each other? If yes, then what evidence can you find in support?
- Does the grandmother really about the rest of her family, or is she purely self-interested?
Chew on This
The family in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is pure caricature.
The grandmother is purely self-interested, and shows little concern for the rest of her family.