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A Good Man is Hard to Find

A Good Man is Hard to Find

by Flannery O'Connor

A Good Man is Hard to Find Analysis

Literary Devices in A Good Man is Hard to Find

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

"Toomsboro" is mentioned (45) as the town the family passes right when the grandmother wakes up to remember the old plantation that isn't really there. In other words, "Toomsboro" is mentioned righ...

Setting

The story takes place in Georgia. We don't have much in the way of a description of the original setting. This tale begins in a nameless city where the family lives, and takes us various places alo...

Narrator Point of View

The story is told in the third person, and it centers singularly on the grandmother. She's the character we're told the most about, by far. She's also the only character whose point of view we can...

Genre

O'Connor's fiction is often called "Southern Gothic," though she herself rejected that label. many of the elements of "gothic" fiction, or plain old horror, but with a distinctively Southern vibe....

Tone

Many readers are struck by the apparent cynicism of O'Connor's writing. As a narrator, she rarely seems sympathetic to the characters of her story. On the contrary, she seems more interested in bri...

Writing Style

O'Connor once said she could only write one type of sentence (source: The Habit of Being, p. 69). There's a bit of truth to that. Many of her sentences are bare bones consisting of: subject, verb,...

What's Up With the Title?

Have you heard the phrase "A Good Man is Hard to Find" before? At this point, it has become a proverb in American English. You might hear just about anyone from your grandmother to a six-year-old g...

What's Up With the Ending?

The big question about the ending – and the one that's kept critics arguing with each other ever since the story was published – has to do with the fact that the grandmother calls The M...

Plot Analysis

There's a criminal on the loose. But let's go on a road trip anyway.In the first paragraph, we get the essential information that a murderer called The Misfit is on the loose. We suspect that he's...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

There's a criminal on the loose.In this stage, the protagonist falls under the shadow of a "dark power," and the first paragraph of the story fits the bill nicely. The grandmother brings up The Mis...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The grandmother warns that The Misfit is on the loose, but the family chooses to head towards Florida anyway. They set off and stop for lunch at Red Sammy's. The grandmother remembers there's an ol...

Trivia

Flannery O'Connor was, as she put it, an "innocent" speller. She preferred to spell words as they sounded to her, usually heavily inflected with Southern dialect. You'll find just as many "oncets"...

Steaminess Rating

There might be many reasons you wouldn't want an eight-year-old to read this story, but sex isn't one of them.

Allusions

Jesus (118, 128, 129, 131, 134-136) John Wesley (Bailey's son is named John Wesley; John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist Church) "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (Eddie Green song) (Title, 43)...
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