A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

Paradoxical and full of irony, A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor leaves a lot of questions unanswered. This page contains a large collection of answers to the most pressing questions connected to the short story. Want to read the full versions of the answers? You are welcome to click on the links.

We will write a custom essay specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

❓ A Good Man Is Hard to Find Q&A

Racism is a minor topic in A Good Man Is Hard to Find. The short story is filled with words like “nigger” and full of creepy white characters. The author is often accused of racism, which is wrong. It is hard to find a writer presenting racism more naturally than Flannery O’Connor.

Technically, Pitty Sing caused the accident that led to the family’s death. But the actual cause was somewhat different from the wretched cat. Its owner took the pet on the trip, which was dangerous and undesirable, which Bailey, the grandmother’s son, mentioned.

Irish American writer Flannery O’Connor wrote the short story A Good Man is Hard to Find. She wrote two novels and thirty short stories. Thanks to her works, she entered the American literature as one of the most profound masters of Southern Gothic.

Literary critiques refer to O’Connor’s writing style as Southern Realism. She created a realistic narrative, adding features of irony, foreshadowing, and imagery. Through these literary techniques, she emphasized the traits of the modern generation.

The grandmother and The Misfit stand in the center of A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Their disagreement represents the man vs. man conflict. These characters are very different, which leads to the confrontation of beliefs. Once both express their attitude to morality and religion, the conflict becomes interpersonal.

Clock image
3 hours!
Get your 100% original paper on any topic
done in as little as 3 hours
Learn More

The author uses several literary elements. They include symbolism, point of view, foreshadowing, irony, and tone. With their help, the author can give ambiguous meaning to the events, building a narrative. The story is filled with tension and depicts an unexpected but foreshadowed tragedy.

The most obvious example of irony in A Good Man is Hard to Find are words of the grandmother. The satire lies in the way she thinks about the world and what such reflections lead to. The woman thinks she is a good person, but her words and actions contradict what she says.

In the short story, foreshadowing indicates the beginning of the end of the family. After the car accident, it becomes apparent that the plot will not have a happy ending. The literary device creates suspense and raises the tension until the action reaches its climax.

In A Good Man Is Hard to Find, O’Connor uses the characters and their actions to foreshadow future events. Bailey’s mother is the primary source of dramatic irony. She prides herself on her moral character but always lies and manipulates. No wonder she is the one putting the whole family in danger for selfish reasons.

The author narrates the story from a third-person point of view. Despite this fact, the grandmother is in focus almost all the time. The narrator reveals her trail of thoughts to deliver the message of the story.

Looking for 100% original essay? Let`s see if we
can help you!
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Learn More

The concept of religion is challenged in A Good Man is Hard to Find more than once. The story switches between the grandmother’s pious attitude and The Misfit’s rejection of religion. It surprises the reader with the grandmother’s change, representing a spiritual puzzle.

There are two types of conflict in the short story: internal and external. The first problem arises in the difference between a vacation and an escaped criminal. The second disagreement happens when the grandmother is talking to The Misfit.

There is a bit of hope in this gloomy and tragic story. Flannery O’Connor describes her characters in a manner that seems satiric. But she believes we should still feel compassionate about them. Through an unpleasant situation, the author shows a range of human feelings. Therefore, we can call the tone of the story sympathetic.

The central conflict in the short story is the contrast between egoism and grace. In the last moments before death, the grandmother turns to faith through a spiritual rebirth. She tries to convey the word of God to the sinner and murderer of her family, despite her sinfulness.

The actions described in the story take place during the Postwar Midcentury. The story is set between the late 40s or early 50s of the twentieth century. This fact influenced the problematics raised by the author and defined the atmosphere of the narrative.

We will write a custom essay specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

A Good Man Is Hard to Find is an example of the Southern Gothic style. It features ironic elements and grotesque scenery. As a result, it demonstrates the degradation of the American South.

Writers use imagery to create a special mood and images related to the plot. Flannery O’Connor describes the forest, sky, car, and characters to create the desired effect. Her imagery is macabre but trivial. In her story, commonplace things become uncanny.

In A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor, the grandmother is the central character. The story focuses on her behaviors and actions and her relationships with other characters of the book. She symbolizes the mental change in the face of death.

In the short story, The Misfit is a ruthless criminal who kills the grandmother. In particular, the old woman says: “you’re one of my babies.” Right after that, The Misfit bounces back and shoots her three times.

The mysterious character The Misfit does not say his real name. He changed it to The Misfit because of his loneliness. He feels separated from the public because it is unfair to him. His name shows which place the criminal occupies in society.

In A Good Man Is Hard to Find, the author shows moral principles decaying. Both the grandmother and The Misfit behave as imperfect humans. The story implies that a positive opinion about oneself does not make them good.

The most crucial point in the setting is that it represents the decline of the Old South. Meanwhile, the children despise such states as Georgia and Tennessee. Their grandmother is proud of being born there. As a result, the setting represents a contrast of the values of old and young generations in the story.

The ending of O’Connor’s story means experiencing the moment of grace. It is highly personal for every human being. At the end of the story, the grandmother finds herself at peace and regains her integrity.

Flannery O’Connor’s short novel A Good Man is Hard to Find describes perverted morality. The author talks about immoral individuals who have a sense of false integrity. The other ones depict how hypocrisy and moral corruption are the main traits of “good” people.

Flannery O’Connor wrote A Good Man Is Hard to Find in 1953. At that time, the whole world reflected on World War II and its consequences on the global society. These issues affected the tone of the story’s narrative.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find covers many sensitive themes. They include violence and grace, family ties and conflicts, and genuine good and evil. The Misfit says strange words. “She would of been a good woman,” “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”

There are various assumptions about the title of the story by Flannery O’Connor. However, the main idea of the novel – good vs. evil – gives hints to explanation. In literal interpretation, the title symbolizes the absence of good people among the characters. Or, taken globally, it refers to a small number of good people in the world.

Despite the peaceful and humorous beginning of the story, its ending is tragic and gruesome. The author introduces an escaped prisoner named The Misfit, who kills the Grandmother in the end. Her selfishness leads all her family members to death.

From the beginning of the story, a seemingly happy family appears before the reader. They are going on a road that will turn into a tragedy for them. This short story is about evil and grace. However, it has many different interpretations.

The story introduces two main characters: the protagonist – the grandmother, and the antagonist – The Misfit. Several minor characters develop the story. They are Red Sammy Butts, Bailey, his wife, and two kids – John Wesley and June Star. The main difference in this division lies in the degree of their spiritual development.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find is a short story about a family going on a vacation. As they drive from Georgia to Florida, the grandmother asks to make a quick side trip. She wants to visit a mysterious house. They get into an accident and meet a notorious criminal, The Misfit. He executes the whole family.

Cite this page
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2021, July 20). Questions & Answers. https://ivypanda.com/lit/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-study-guide/questions-answers/


IvyPanda. (2021, July 20). Questions & Answers. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/lit/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-study-guide/questions-answers/

Work Cited

"Questions & Answers." IvyPanda, 20 July 2021, ivypanda.com/lit/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-study-guide/questions-answers/.

1. IvyPanda. "Questions & Answers." July 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-study-guide/questions-answers/.


IvyPanda. "Questions & Answers." July 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-study-guide/questions-answers/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Questions & Answers." July 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-study-guide/questions-answers/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Questions & Answers'. 20 July.

Powered by CiteTotal, essay referencing maker