Sometimes, whilst on a journey, it s final destination remains different than the original plan, that s the case in Flannery O Connor s tale of good Vs evil A grandma in the deep south unintentionally leads her family into the face of danger Although she is depicted as a seemingly good person, the grandma holds responsibility for the death of her family because she fails to see the signs of multiple warnings of their upcoming encounter with a menacing convict, The Misfit While the use of violence remains disturbing, with an ending that resonates strong in the mind, O Connor intentionally uses indicative foreshadowing to expose the destructive path the grandma consistently chooses when confronted by good and of evil While preparing for the road trip, the grandma dresses in her Sunday best in the chance an accident may occur so anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once she was a lady This is an abnormal thought to consider when getting ready she is dressing in her best, similarly to how the deceased individual is prepared before the burial Additionally, while continuing on their journey, the family passes a field which contains five or six graves As this contributes to the mysterious mood and path they are headed towards, the number of tombs happens to match the number of family members inside the car Yet once again, the family thinks nothing of it and continues anyways drifting down a dirt road following sharp curves on dangerous embankments towards the town of Toombsboro, another sign of death reflected just within the name as the setting implies misfortune Further after a car accident occurs, the grandma notices an approaching big black battered hearse like automobile that representing evil This short tale slowly crawls along with a pitch dark foreboding and chilling tone leading to it s shocking conclusion As my first time reading O Connor, it s easy to see why she is associated with the term Southern Gothic. And I thiught it would be about some young woman looking for a man to marry A Good Man Is Hard To Find Is Flannery O Connor S Most Famous And Most Discussed Story O Connor Herself Singled It Out By Making It The Title Piece Of Her First Collection And The Story She Most Often Chose For Readings Or Talks To Students It Is An Unforgettable Tale, Both Riveting And Comic, Of The Confrontation Of A Family With Violence And Sudden Death More Than Anything Else O Connor Ever Wrote, This Story Mixes The Comedy, Violence, And Religious Concerns That Characterize Her FictionThis Casebook For The Story Includes An Introduction By The Editor, A Chronology Of The Author S Life, The Authoritative Text Of The Story Itself, Comments And Letters By O Connor About The Story, Critical Essays, And A Bibliography The Critical Essays Span Than Twenty Years Of Commentary And Suggest Several Approaches To The Story Formalistic, Thematic, Deconstructionist All Within The Grasp Of The Undergraduate, While The Introduction Also Points Interested Students Toward Still Other Resources Useful For Both Beginning And Advanced Students, This Casebook Provides An In Depth Introduction To One Of America S Most Gifted Modern Writers Wew, this is some story Excellent writing, food for thought, brutal though Nothing really visible, but the described sounds say it I would say not for the faint of heart Can t say too much, the story is short and to the point and it would be spoiling But here is the outline A family of grandmother plus cat , father, mother and kids go out on a trip All the while a well known criminal is out on the loose While the grandmother is strongly against the trip direction due to this situation, she is the one who brings the family into danger zone unwillingly but stubbornly.Wew And amazing how much info, detail and character a writer can bring across in such a short story That is quality writing But wew brutal Have to read again though, take it all in again. This is an undoubtedly weird and violent story, but a powerful and memorable one Following a slightly haughty and unpleasant family the children nearly litter out the car window and the grandmother refers to a child at the side of the road as a pickaninny as they take a road trip down to Florida through the deep south, its most interesting character is definitely the unnamed grandmother, who offers a rather unwanted presence in the car as they travel Meanwhile Bailey, the son of the grandmother and the father of the two children, is slowly beginning to lose his temper and eventually caves in to the grandmother s wishes to take a little detour away from their plotted path A Good Man Is Hard to Find is much deeper than this almost slasher film scenario that unfolds exploring undertones of religion, racism, mortality, fate and family dysfunction all at once, allowing readers to find their own meaning in the words Both comical and dark beyond belief, this book somehow manages to make you care about the characters even though they re quite unlikable, and this is a quality few stories can accomplish. A family goes on a roadtrip hollyday, taking old Grandma Everygranny with them There s also a serial killer called The Misfit on the loose But they couldn t possibly run into him after all this story s called An Unhinged Evil Serial Killer is Hard to Find riiiiight This was absolutely great Flannery O Connor s writing and storytelling is so on point that if the story was simply a quirky old lady and her family go on a trip across the south, I d ve still been satisfied But things take a very, very, very dark and unexpected turn towards the end which tipped it over the top for me I loved all of it The characterisation is brilliant The grandma subtly and not so subtly manipulates her son s family to do her bidding, the kids voices are convincing, the restaurant owner s voice is distinctly Southern and The Misfit is chillingly bleak, in stark contrast to the warmth of the family on vacation Their names are great too John Wesley, June Star, Red Sam and you get a strong sense of Southern culture As soon as the grandma convinces her son to drive them down a dirt road though the unease builds and builds so superbly And when things go completely to hell, it was masterful of O Connor to have the horrors happen off the page rather than explicitly tell the reader what s going on it makes the events that much shocking A Good Man is Hard to Find reminded me of Shirley Jackson s The Lottery for the total U turn in tone with that final scene The story is like a distilled and immensely potent mix of Shirley Jackson and Cormac McCarthy an amazing example of Southern Gothic and a thoroughly impressive piece Bravo, Flannery O Connor My first book by her leaves me well satisfied She has such a knack of hooking your heart for her downtrodden characters without sentimentality Such a master of dialog and patterns of speech and of rhythm and timing in her narrative Every word seems to be laid like bricks in a wall Her endings always resonate and move you beyond the frame of your short sojourn with her stories. A short story with a punch, a knock you on your ass punch Writing so real, I was there in that car, then on that gravel road Unforgettable, Darkness and evil flowing from the mind and through the pen of O Connor. Over the last year, I have found myself enjoying short stories, especially when I am in between denser books or when my schedule warrants a quicker read Flannery O Connor, a gothic, harrowing, southern tale.The Grandmother lives with her son Bailey Boy, his children John Wesley and June Star, his baby, and the children s mother somewhere in the backwoods of Georgia It appears to be summer as the children are home and clamoring for both attention and something fun to do from the adults The Grandmother is a religious woman although we do not find this out until later on, and she often tells both her son and the children stories as a way to temper their short attention span She gets it in her head that the entire family, even the mother who appears to complain a lot, needs to take a family road trip to Tennessee, and that is what they decide to do.Immediately in the car, it is apparent that O Connor wrote during the Jim Crow era She referred to a rural African American boy as a poor n , and, while this was normal for the time and place, it is a word that I am uncomfortable with O Connor was a religious person and lived in the bible belt, and the grandmother desired salvation of all people, even the unclothed boy that her family saw while driving Despite her station as a religious woman, the grandmother could strike up a conversation with anyone, even the proprietor of a bar, and this is where she exclaims to him that, a good man is hard to find Perhaps it is because the good men had all been lost to the Great War, or because she had been widowed for years, but the grandmother sees that in the south, that good men are like diamonds in the rough The barman and his wife warn the family of a bandit named the Misfit, and they are back on their way.For a short story, the characters are extremely well developed, especially the feisty grandmother who is the protagonist It is easily apparent what each family member s role in the unit is, and the grandmother takes on the role of spokesperson This becomes evident when the family does encounter the Misfit and his small gang of men, and it is the grandmother who uses the premise of both salvation and one being from good southern stock as a way to get her family out of its current predicament Emphasizing that the Misfit did indeed come from a good southern family is something I have seen repeatedly in southern writing, where the old south mirrored a caste system, and the grandmother wonders why a good man from a good family would go rotten I enjoyed the dialogue between the grandmother and the Misfit, and, because this is a short story, these interchanges took up nearly half of the prose Even though this story is slim in length, these exchanges and the premise behind the plot really packed a punch.Even though A Good Man Is Hard To Find is short in length, it exposed me to the southern gothic writing of Flannery O Connor, who is still known as a leading short story writer from the first half of the 20th century With rich prose and well developed characters, O Connor s writing is deep and provocative and was interesting for me to read While I am an eclectic reader and may not revisit O Connor for awhile, I know that when I do I will be entertained by a classic short story writer A Good Man Is Hard To Find is said to be her premier work and did not disappoint, and for this, I rate it 3.5 stars. I thought this was going to be a short, cheery read before bed Boy was I wrong.
Flannery O Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925 When she died at the age of thirty nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers O Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood 1952 and The Violent Bear It Away 1960 , and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find 1955 and Everything That Rises Must Converge 1964 Her Complete Stories, published posth
- 190 pages
- A Good Man Is Hard to Find
- Flannery O'Connor
- 07 September 2018 Flannery O'Connor