A Good Man Is Hard To Find Critical Analysis

Improved Essays
Narrative structure and literary techniques are used to help develop, and draw attention to, major themes and ideas within literature. The short stories Recitatif by Toni Morrison and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor use such devices to help their themes and ideas grow. Morrison’s use of the first person perspective and keeping information from the reader, like the races of characters, helps to develop the major theme of racism and assumptions. O’Connor, on the other hand, uses a different perspective and the use of many literary techniques, such as foreshadow and alliteration, to draw attention to the harms of living in the past and what constitutes good.
Recitatif is written in the first person perspective from the view of
…show more content…
This helps develop the story’s themes and ideas in a different way than in Recitatif. While still mainly focusing on one character, it still leaves the reader with limited information. The audience is only given information on what is currently happening in the story with some small snippets from the past told by the grandmother who, just like Twyla proves, to be unreliable. While driving, she recalls “an old plantation that she had visited in this neighborhood” (O’Connor, 410) however, it is later revealed that the grandmother was wrong and the house she had “so vividly remembered was not in Georgia but in Tennessee” (411) only after convincing her family to take a detour to see the house which results in the car rolling. The grandmother is a proud woman, even after realizing her mistake she refuses to admit to it, or at least hopes that she is “injured so that” he son’s “wrath would not come down on her all at once” (411). The third person view gives a different depth than first person, although it mainly focuses on the grandmother, the limited omniscient narrator is able to notice and comment on items and situations that the grandmother may not. The narrator comments and describes the actions of the other characters, this is important to note because the grandmother is a self-absorbed person, her hoping that she is injured so she wont get yelled at for causing the mess the family found themselves in before thinking to check on her family members. Even after everyone seems to be alive, although not all okay, she makes sure to comment that she “believes” she has “injured an organ” (412) either to draw attention back to her, or to not have her son yell at

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    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.…

    • 1076 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It was impossible for O’Connor to write without influence from her mother because they spent so much time together, but many times the two disagreed. O’Connor mentions multiple times that her mother didn’t like her style of writing or the topics she used. Author Ann Rueman writes, “Yet, while she praised what was already publicly acclaimed, O’Connor’s mother worked just as hard to repress the socially unacceptable in her daughter’s writing…” (2). While Regina realized that her daughter was being recognized for her works, she felt that she should write something more tasteful, a novel that the local people would enjoy and not be offended by. But writing style was not the only thing the two argued about.…

    • 1016 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    They’re also similar because both kept secrets that ultimately ruined their lives. On the other hand, both characters differ because the grandmother was manipulative and in the end only cared about herself. Mathilde was not manipulative she just had pride that she couldn’t get over. In "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," the grandmother's concept of morality has a great deal to do with whether one agrees with her than it does with actual goodness of morality while in “The Necklace” Materialism can distort your view…

    • 1446 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Misfit and the grandmother are similar when they are both talking to each other. She feels like she knows what he is going through and that maybe deep down he isn’t really cold hearted as he seems. The Misfit almost fells pity for the old woman but not enough to save her life. When it comes to hard times and being held at a life or death situation the grandmother becomes a totally different person than she was at the beginning of the story. The grandmother is a hypocrite in the ending of the story but in the beginning she comes off as a strong lady.…

    • 820 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This shows that it is intentional that O 'Connor wrote the Grandmother to not be a good person. By having another character state that the Grandmother was not good, the point of the story is reinforced. This is not a story that is meant to scare the reader with the shocking violence, nor is it meant to make the reader laugh with it 's comedic scenes. This is a story of an awful woman that is so caught up in judging others and believing that she should be the one deciding if a person is good or not that she is unable to see the wrongness in herself. “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” sends the message that one should not be so quick to judge others, especially when one is not a very good person…

    • 1352 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the end, the Grandmother’s hat breaks, and O’Connor displays how in a crisis, outward appearances will not solve it. However, not only do outward appearances not assist an individual in a life or death situation, but readers understand that knowing facts about God or Christianity will not save a soul either. After acting selfish and determined to prove her self-worth, the Grandmother in the end is finally pure and honest with herself and the beliefs she has about religion. Despite the Grandmother having an epiphany, or a sense of religion in the end, she fails to stick with her experiences and the lessons she learned. Joe Fassler describes that “human beings have to be re-educated over and over and over again as we swim upstream against our own rationalities” (4).…

    • 1420 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Without understanding the literary mechanics of a story, the underlying causes cannot be uncovered. Literary devices such as foreshadowing, symbolism, and irony are critical in understanding the roots of any story. These three devices are best suited to represent an important message that O’Connor intended to convey through her writing. Flannery O’Connor’s writing contains many subtle messages that are only unlocked through close study of the devices in her stories. The short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by O’Connor exemplifies the use of these three devices, and uses each element to not only contribute to the main theme, but also to bring small, individual ideas to the peripheral of the story.…

    • 1075 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    We see this again with the grandmother referring to anyone who is different from her as the “common man”. This is a result of her feeling as though she does not actually have to deal with any of the problems she is faced with, that it all falls into gods will. The Grandmother displays how her dated values can be used to suppress thought and can be used as a coping mechanism. This is beneficial until it is used constantly. Some people need something to believe in, in order to make sense of a situation, however this becomes detrimental once it is used for every purpose.…

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Paper 1: A Good Man is Hard to Find The story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Conner O’ Flannery is based upon a fictional level. This story describes the main character known as “the grandmother” being an explanatory manipulative, self-centered, narrow woman. The grandmother is this way because she wants everything to go her as planned in her perspective and claims to say that all things go her way. The grandmother has planned for the family to go on a certain trip, although she decides to go elsewhere with her family and this leads to a difficult cause. Although later on her son refuses to go, yet she does not want to go to Florida.…

    • 1002 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    These modifications in her personality cause the reader to be unable to predict what the grandmother is going to do. On the other hand, the Misfit is more than likely different than anyone you have ever meet, or read about. The Misfit’s character was in no waya stock character. Nevertheless it seemed like his actions were slightly easier to predict. While his motives might have been a mystery, I felt that I knew what was going to…

    • 914 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays