A Good Man Is Hard To Find Response

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Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” has many strange characteristics that set it apart from most stories. The blatant and somewhat abrasive manner O’Conner goes about writing this story hints that she is attempting to portray an unsettling message. However, after closely examining the literary clues O’Connor leaves behind the readers can conclude that the piece offers a disturbing image of human tendencies and natural desires that goes unspoken in society. By closely examining the grandmother’s characterization, family animosity, and Misfit’s metaphorical purpose through a psychological lens, the reader can attain O’Connor’s commentary on the human self. What is that commentary?
The grandmother is certainly the focal point of this
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She writes the story using concise sentence structures and portrays characters in the same way she might portray an animal. Or how a scientist would record observations of an animal that he or she was doing a scientific study on. Rather than using loaded writing to add meaning to the family’s interactions, O’Connor allows their actions to speak for themselves. She could partly do this to prevent the reader from forming attachments with the characters to make the ending of the story slightly more comprehendible for the reader. However, she also could be provoking the reader to form their own opinions about the characters. First off the children in the story, June Star and John Wesley, are painted out to be unlikeable characters. However, there is a sense of brash honesty to all of their dialogue. For example, June Star criticizes her grandmother by saying that she would never stay home by herself because she is “afraid she’d miss something” (382). Though her claim is hurtful to her grandmother, the reader can not deny the validity of her argument. In this instance O’Connor may be attempting to support the theory that human behavior is shaped by the environment. Because June Star and John Wesley have not been exposed to environment very long, their opinions and statements are unbiased and …show more content…
However, his role in portraying O’Conner’s theme is negotiable The misfit first off, may represent Freud’s concept of the human id. The id is a component of the human consciousness that contains the most primitive desires and behaviors. It is often suppressed by the superego however it is possible that enduring some kind of psychological trauma can strengthen the id’s influence over behavior. The dialogue between the Misfit and the grandmother is extremely telling of the Misfit’s psychological state. He mentions that he has “been in the arm service, both land and sea, at home and abroad, been twict married, been an undertaker, been with the railroads, plowed Mother Earth, been in a tornado, seen a man burnt alive oncet” (389). The experiences he mentions are extremely traumatic and brutal ones, written in harsh language to almost intensify their severity. He later mentions his time in prison as a crucial time of strife in his life. He describes his time in the penitentiary as being “buried alive” (390). In a sense the events that he lists justify his desensitized and animalistic nature and the weakness of his superego. Earlier in the story O’Connor utilizes a symbol for the Misfit and his psychological state. At Red Sammy’s there is a “gray monkey about a foot high, chained to a small chinaberry tree” (384). The monkey, a close evolutionary cousin of the human being known for its primitive and

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