“A Great Man is Hard to Find” is a short story written by Flannery O’Connor, a significant American author and essayist. Her writing style shows the ethnic relation in the South and her own Christian faith. The author composes in 3rd person minimal perspective to depict the awful journey of a family who lived in Georgia in 1953.
Bailey wishes to take his family to Florida, however his mother, “the grandmother” disagrees with him since there’s an unsafe criminal named The Misfit who is likewise on the way to Florida.
Bailey overlooks the grandma’s concern and headed to Florida. On the road, The kids and the grandma convince Bailey to drive them to the see a plantation which the grandmother visited when she was a lady. Unfortunately, the household enters a mishap on the desolate dust roadway to the plantation. The only thing the household can do is to wait on aid, and it turns out that their assistance is none aside from The Misfit and his buddies. The Misfit orders his pals to take all the member of the family except the grandmother into the wood and shoot them.
Hopelessly, the grandma calls The Misfit her child and wishes to touch him on the shoulder, however this angers The Misfit. As a result, he shoots the granny 3 times on the chest. The author uses characterization, foreshadowing, and irony to highlight the style that the tendency to manipulate individuals’s actions and ideas may introduce tragic results to the love ones. In the narrative “A Great Guy is Hard to Find”, the author uses both direct characterization and indirect characterization to show the selfishness of the granny, the innocence of the kids, and the wickedness of The Misfit.
In the exposition of the story, the grandmother wishes to go to Tennessee to visit her connections rather going to Florida, so she informs Bailey that he” should take [the kids] elsewhere for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be board. They have never ever been to east Tennessee” (O’Connor 403). From this quote the readers can perceive that the granny is proficient at controling her son by stating that going to Tennessee can be helpful to the kids in order to accomplish her own function.
She also discusses that The Misfit is also on the way to Florida and she “couldn’t response to [her] conscience” (O’Connor 402) if she brings the kids to Florida. In this quote, the granny uses the word “conscience” to hazard Bailey with the idea that he is going to put his kids in danger, so he would quit the journey to Florida. In Katherine Keil’s post “O’Connor’s ‘Great Guy is Tough to Discover'”, Katherine analyzes “A Great Guy is Difficult to Discover” and comments that “the grandmother reveals her indifference for production by selfishly manipulating and nagging to get her way on the household’s trip “(Keil 45).
Keil’s analysis is sensible due to the fact that through the interactions in between the grandma and other relative on the problem about the family trip, the granny is utilized to manipulate individuals’s decisions by making the most of the susceptible side of people’s mind and being self-centered without knowing it herself. The kids, John Wesley and June Star, are innocent compare to their selfish grandmother. After the household encounter The Misfit in the nation, John Wesley notifications that The Misfit is holding a weapon, so he asks him: “‘What you got that gun for?”‘(O’Connor 410).
Under this type of circumstance, probably most of individuals would be peaceful in order to prevent problem, but John Wesley discusses the gun just because he is simply curious. Sadly, his questions brings The Misfit into action, and leads to tragedy. Although The Misfit is not present until the final pages of the story, he affects the story from the exposition of the story when the granny informs Bailey that he gets away from the jail, and is on the way to Florida.
The author uses a clear and comprehensive direct characterization to portray The Misfit when he initially appears in the story. The author explains him as a guy whose Hair simply beginning to gray and he used silver rimmed eyeglasses that provided him a scholarly appearance. He had a long creased face and didn’t have on any shirt or undershirt. He had on blue denims that were too tight for him and was holding a black hat and a weapon. (O’Connor 410) It is simple for the readers to recognize that he is a villain from his look– long stopped face, unsuited clothing, holding a weapon, a typical picture of bad guys.
The conversations between The Misfit and the grandma likewise expose the wicked inside The Misfit. After the execution of Bailey and his child, The Misfit tells the grandma that he” found out the crime does not matter. You can do something or you can do another, eliminate a man or take a tire off his vehicle, due to the fact that quicker you’re going to forget what it was you done and just be penalized for it”(O’Connor 414). John Desmond’s, a teacher of English at Whitman College made comment in his article that” the Misfit acts under the misconception that his actions are somehow good, i. e. helpful for him.
Since he can not understand his spiritual condition, he now tries to lower ethical mystery to a perverse pleasure-pain concept”(Desmond135). Desmond’s comment exposes the quality of The Misfit since The Misfit’s disposition exhibits that his values is tangled, and he has actually established his own philosophy, which is evil and lawless. As a result, his approach blinded his conscience, and make his wicked actions look naturally suitable to himself. Besides characterization, foreshadowing is likewise a significant literary component throughout the story.
The author uses foreshadowing to provide the story its air of suspense, and to hint the outcome of the story. At the beginning of the story, the granny refers to the news that “The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida” (O’Connor 402). At first, the grandma just wants to utilize this scary news to threaten Bailey, and attempts to change his mind. The reference to a harmful criminal raises a sign of hazardousness. The granny’s dress on the day of departure likewise foreshadows the misery of the household.
” [S] he had on navy blue straw sailor hat with a lot of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a little white dot in the print. Her collars and cuffs were organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had actually pinned a purple spray of cloth violets consisting of a sachet”(O’Connor 404). In the book Brief Stories for Students, the author of the article ‘Overview: “An Excellent Male is Hard to Discover”‘ analysis that” as the household prepares to start their vacation, the grandmother prepares her outfit with an eye towards tragedy”(Short Stories for Trainees 103).
Wilson’s analysis is fair since when individuals pass away, they generally are worn their finest outfit, much like the granny is worn her finest clothes, so its clear that the grandmother holds a cynical view on the household journey. On their way to Florida, the family “passed a large cotton field with 5 or 6 graves fenced in the middle of it, like a little island”(O’Connor 404). It is pretty disturbing for people who are on a family trip to see thing like graveyard, and the variety of the tombs clearly represent the 6 member of the family, including the infant. When the household are waiting on assistance after the mishap, they come across The
Misfit, who drives “a big black battered hearse-like automobile” (O’Connor 409). It is very apparent that the appearance of the cars and truck is a vigorous example of foreshadowing, which foreshadows the tragedy that will happen. In Arthur F. Bethea’s short article, he specifies that “O’Connor’s bad guy is non-stop connected with death: he worked as an undertaker, drives a black “hearse-like auto,”‘(Bethea 239). Bthea’s interpretation is energetic since the image of a hearse-like vehicle generates a bodeful atmosphere which perfectly foreshadows the launching of The Misfit.
Aside from characterization and foreshadowing, irony is another necessary literary component that assists to perform the function and the theme of the entire story. Both spoken paradox and situational paradox are utilized by the author in this story to show how the granny’s manipulative habits lead the whole household into fatal circumstance. In the exposition of the story, the granny alerts Bailey that she “wouldn’t take [her] children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it “(O’Connor 402).
Paradoxically, she is exactly the individual who take the family into dangerousness when she deliberately excites the children in order to require Bailey to take them to see the plantation, where they meet The Misfit. In order to persuade Bailey, the granny reveals that taking the kids to the old plantation “would be extremely educational for them”(O’Connor 408). To educate the kids is not the purpose of the journey to the plantation in the grandmother’s mind, it is just a reason that used to camouflage her selfishness.
In Stanley Renne’s post he comments that the grandma is a “blind old lady, an unsuccessful parent who has actually ruined her own offspring, with a false and harmful dream of the past and an equally incorrect and devastating self-perception in today”(Renner 127). Renne’s analysis is affordable due to the fact that the grandmother always wants others to accept her idea, and force his member of the family to do what she thinks is best and what she believes benefits them, but the granny does not view that herself is being selfish and nostalgic all the time.
As a result of her selfishness and nostalgia, the grandmother eventually brings misfortune to the household. After the vehicle mishap, the kid says: “However no one’s killed”(O’Connor 409) with fantastic dissatisfaction. It is extremely uncomfortable that a kid could has this kind of dreadful idea, and it is an example of spoken irony due to the fact that at the end of the story every relative gets killed eventually. Another irony occurs when the grandmother is providing her grandkids a lecture on respecting others.
She announces that in the old times “children were more respectful of their native states and their moms and dads and whatever else”(O’Connor 404), but at the very same time, she saw an African American child on the roadside and says: “Oh look at that charming pickninny” (O’Connor 404). It is paradoxical that the granny is teaching her grandkids the value of regard while she calls an African American kid pickninny, which is disrespectful.
In Stephen Brandy’s post he analysis and describe the granny as a old female who” is filled with the prejudices of her class and her time” (Brandy 110). Brandy’s comment is acceptable because although the grandmother’s conversations make her seems like a great and traditional Southern old woman, her meaningless insult on African Americans exposes that the racism is rooted in her mind for a long time that even herself does not notice it, or she ignore this problem intentionally.
I the short story “A Good Guy is Difficult to Find”, the author applies characterization, foreshadowing, and paradox to highlight the style that the propensity to control people’s actions and ideas may introduce terrible results to the love ones. By utilizing both direct and indirect characterization, the author is able to portray the characters in information, and create a vibrant image of interactions between characters.
Foreshadowing is likewise a crucial literary aspect that the author applies in this narrative because foreshadowing provides the story its air of thriller hence make the story more interesting and remarkable. Through both situational irony and spoken irony, the author demonstrates how the grandma’s character trait brings misery to the family, and unlock the theme of the story. Being manipulative not only distances a person from his or her household, however also could cause problem to the love ones.