The setting of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is in a place in Georgia, but the reader is not exposed to the description of the original setting. The story begins in a city that is not named where the family lives and takes the reader to many places where the family travels. There is “Plenty of local color – there are the old plantations that get passed, and Red Sammy’s roadside barbeque joint.” For “Love in L.A” the story takes place on the Freeway of Los Angeles, where Jake, protagonist, lazy, self-absorbed and irresponsible, is driving along the freeway (Dagoberto, 2004). The similarity in the setting of the two stories is the fact that story happens as an experience of persons travelling. However the two stories are different because in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” it involves a family and the relationship to one another. This is not the dame case in “Love in L.A” where the story involves Jake who is driving along a freeway.
In “Love in L.A” Jake is presented as an irresponsible, self absorbed and lazy protagonist. This is seen when he hits Mariana’s car due to his carelessness. Jake is also dishonest when he gives Mariana wrong information regarding his address, phone number, and insurance information (Dagoberto, 2004). The main reason as to why he does this is for him to walk free from the consequences he is likely to face for hitting Mariana’s car. Mariana is the story’s antagonist. She believes the information given to him by Jake and she gives her correct information to Jake, with hopes of becoming good friends. Despite the fact that he hits her car does not make to feel anger against him, but instead accepts his proposal.
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the grandmother is seen as a manipulator. She does not want to go to Florida because she has relatives in Tennessee she wants to see. She tries to change the mind of Bailey through a subtle style (Flannery, 1992). The Misfit despite being violent and a wanton killer, he has a different opinion to that of the grandmother. As much he knows that he is not morally upright, he also has the view that there are some people who are worse than him. He is consistent in these views, something that lacks in the grandmother.
Bailey can be seen as submissive since he submits to his mothers request to visit the old plantation house. He is also ineffective when he fails to quiet his mother but in vain. Red Sammy Butts is honest as is seen by the trust that the grandmother has in him. He is gullible to fault. The two escaped criminals are cowards because they escape from the consequences that they are likely to face, having killed several people. The two children are adventurous as seen by their push to visit the old house their grandmother having said that it contained a secret panel.
The freeway in “Love in L.A is symbolic in that it makes Jake feel all the freedom provided by the open road, something that leads him into day dreaming. The car is also symbolic because it represents how well or bad he uses his freedom, basing on the fact that he is involved in an accident due to carelessness.
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the grandmother’s hat which she puts to show that she is a lady is symbolic in a way that it represents her moral code, which is misguided (Flannery, 1992). This is illustrated when she dresses in that specific manner, so that in case there is an accident, everyone would easily identify her as a lady. The “Toomsboro” town is mentioned in a manner that it sounds like a “Tomb” meaning that the family is headed for doom. Through the description of Misfit’s car, the writer brings out the picture of the ultimatum of the family. He uses “a big black battered hearse-like automobile,” instead of brand names like Cadillac, Lincoln and many others.
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the main theme is good versus evil where there is a confrontation with a superficial logic of goodness and a person who is embodies aspects of evil. She treats goodness just to appear decent, with the right manners and to paint of a picture of coming from a family of right people, which is a contrast as is seen when she meets the Misfit who acknowledges and accepts his true nature. In this piece, the writer brings out the nature of people to paint a picture which is in contrast of their true natures just to gain a social status among the people they interact with.
In “Love in L.A” the main theme is love for self. This is seen as Jake is consumed with himself and the obsession he has with his car. He wants more for himself and for the main reason of getting more women. The author illustrates the nature of people in the society to always want more in life (Dagoberto, 2004).
In Love in L.A, The tone of the author brings out the fact that he might see himself in the main character, Jake. The author could be a good person who at one time struggled in the place of a bad guy. In A good Man is Hard to Find, the overall tone used plays a fundamental role in developing the plot of the story, which is retro respect, based upon the unforgiving terrain especially during the writing of the story.
The title of the story,”A Good man is hard to find” is ironic because the grandmother refers the Misfit as a good man when she says, “I know you’re a good man … I know you must come from nice people,” (Flannery, 1992). which is not the case since the Misfit has escaped from prison and has killed his father. Irony is also evident in “Love in L.A” because of the continual longing for love which does not occur. Through Jake, love is developed in different fashions which do not suggest anything positive. He is seen as one with a love for image, daydreaming and self conceit, which does not represent the true meaning of the word love.
In Love in L.A, Jake has no moral codes. Despite the fact that he knocks Miranda’s car, he does not make any efforts to honor the responsibility but instead tries hard to evade the situation by telling Miranda lies and giving him false information. He does not also mind about the conditions of other people but instead thinks about himself and does everything to get what he wants. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” I think the grandmother does not have the qualities to be looked at as “a good man” since the image that she tries to paint is not what she truly is, she lives in deceit and does everything to get recognized (Flannery, 1992). This is the same scenario in the case of Misfit, who despite the fact that he sees himself as perfect, and that there are others even more dangerous than him, does not mean that he is morally upright. This is because he does not make any efforts in changing what evil he has done in the past.
I have learnt that there are many ways in which perceive love. Having read the two short stories, I discovered that people are of different opinions. This is illustrated by Jake as being in love with his car and self image, the same thing is seen with the grandmother, where he only loves the image that can be represented by her and not about the affairs of the other people. This is a moral lesson that we should learn and try as hard to always consider the affairs and statuses of other people before putting ours ahead.
Flannery, O. (1992) A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Chicago: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Dagoberto. G, (2004) Love in L.A. Chicago: Cengage Learning
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