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Self-Recognition in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is written by Flanney O’Conner in 1955 which helps us visualize how the grandmother’s self-recognition leads her to her own death. Flanney O’Conner mentions that the grandmother’s self-recognition is painful. O’Conner uses two main characters in order to help describe how the grandmother’s is having a painful experience. Whereas, in the middel of the story when the Misfit is introduced gives us a clear idea as to what is about to happen to the family.

The Misfit who is described as an escaped fallen who pretends to help the family of seven but betrays the family by killing them at the end of the story. As he shoots the grandmother in the chest not One time but 3 times.

In the end of the story, he mentions that he is wearing a yellow shirt and having designs of bright blue parrots on it. The reader comes to know that he is uneducated by the means of his talking.

However, his is good toward the grandmother and that’s what makes the family believe that they are there to help and not harm the family. The part where the grandmother comes to know as if the Misfit is one of her own babies is at the end of the story. The grandmother’s epiphany also known as a moment of truth. When the grandmother reaches out and touches his shoulder and says to him “Why you’re one of my babies.

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You’re one of my own children!” is when the Misfit completely loses it. During this moment she realizes that the Misfit and her are more alike than she would want to be. This also allows us to known that she has come to an understanding of her connection with evil, which is the main thing that the Misfit mirrors. However, the provided evidence of the grandmother being able to understand the connection between the Misfit and herself.

The grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is another major character who is described to be subjective, forceful and religious. If we are to look beyond the grandmother’s surface we are able to tell that O’Conner exposes her to be. In the begging of the story the states “Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is loose from the Federal Pen and is heading toward Florida”. For example, she explains why she dresses so feminine. She dressed feminine because she wanted the person who found her. While reading this I took it as if she had a gut feeling that something unacceptable was going to happen to her family. In this short store the grandmother tells her grandchildren a short about an old house with the secret panel; then she talks Bailey into taking his family to visit this old house which she uses visit when she was a child.

In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” O’Conner uses two types of irony. One type of irony that O’Conner uses is known as Verbal Irony. Verbal irony develops after the car accident when the children declare that they we in an accident. Another type of irony that she uses is dramatic irony and this occurs when the family interacts with The Misfit. The first major sign symbolism is the grandmother’s hat. This hat symbolizes that she is a lady and also her innocents. In the begging of the story the grandmother prepares to hit the road on a vacation with the family. She figured that if they were to get into a car accident the hat would help whoever found them know that she was a proper lady and not a man.

The concerne she had of her death shows that she wants to be appreciated as well as be respected just like a proper lady would be. Another major symbolism is the misfit’s car. O’Conner describes the misfit’s car to be a Big black horse like an automobile. The killer’s car is a cloudless sign that death is near for this family of seven. When we see a horse like car which is also known as a hearse. A hearse  symbolizes a funeral. The misfit along with two other men end up committing yet another crime by murdering this family of seven. A Good Man Is Hard to Find is a story that lays out the violence of a man that one person can cause another person to do. Each and every one has a side face of violence but also have good face in that’s is called human nature.

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Self-Recognition in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. (2021, Mar 06). Retrieved from

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