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Free «Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is hard to Find”» Essay Sample

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is hard to Find”, is a third person narrative story told from the grandmother’s perception of events. The grandmother complains of the family going on a trip to Florida, and prefers that the family head to Tennessee. In spite of her complaints, the grandmother sneaks her cat into the car and joins the family members: Bailey with his wife, and their children John Wesley, June Star, and the baby, for the trip. As a foreshadow of the oncoming tragedy, the grandmother takes much time dressing up nicely a hat and a dress so that in case she dies on the trip, she will be easily recognized as a lady.

The family’s first checkpoint is at The Tower, where they stop to take Barbecued sandwiches. Grandmother and the restaurant's owner discuss  the mistrust that has defiled the contemporary society. As they proceed, the grandmother convinces the children that an old plantation in the area had a house with secret door and hidden treasures. The children force their father to allow them see the mysterious house, only for the grandmother to remember that the house was not actually in that locality.

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The family’s car falls into a ditch and is approached by a car occupied with murderous criminals on the loose: The Misfit, Bobby Lee, and Hiram. The grandmother recognizes the Misfit, compelling him to take their lives. Bobby Lee and Hiram drug Bailey and John Wesley into the woods, as commanded by The Misfit, where gunshots are heard shortly. The two come again and take The Mother and June Star into the woods as well.

Fearing for her life, the grandmother flatters The Misfit by telling him how he comes from a nice background; she further persuades him to spare her life in exchange of money. She convinces The Misfit to pray to Jesus and spare her life. Shortly, pistol shots heard again from the woods, announcing the death of all family members. As the Grandmother screams her son’s name, while The Misfit reminds her that only Jesus can raise the dead back to life. He tells the grandmother that he does not believe in God, and prefers that Jesus should have never raised anyone from death; The Misfit further tells the grandmother that he finds pleasure in “meanness” alone. The grandmother reaches out for the Misfit’s shoulder while crying out "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!” The Misfit fires three shots in her chest and the Misfit remarks that there is no pleasure in life. 

   

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