Grotesque Elements In Flannery O Connor's A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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Southern Gothic literature is a writing style unique to American literature in that it uses supernatural, ironic, and unusual events to reveal and examine the values and character of the South. Sothern Gothic authors use certain elements as tools to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the south. An example of this work is A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor. It is a deeply disturbing tale about a family trip to Florida gone wrong. O 'Connor 's work in A Good Man is Hard to Find uses grotesque elements, twisted southern stereotypes, and ironic events to highlight the social and moral issues of the Christ- Haunted South. O’Connor refers to the South as Christ-haunted because she sees that society is no longer …show more content…
One of the most recognizable elements of Southern Gothic fiction is the grotesque events that shock the reader. These events are easily apparent in A Good Man is Hard to Find because there is much violence that happens so casually without any dramatic effect from the author. For instance, at the beginning of the story O’Connor immediately creates a looming sense of darkness and suspense when the grandmother tries to persuade the family to go to Tennessee rather than Florida because a dangerous inmate has escaped. The grandmother warns her family, “read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn 't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that a loose in it. I couldn 't answer to my conscience if it did" (A Good Man Is Hard to Find 1). This suspense is then carried on throughout the story as the disturbing imagery increases. The family has a violent car crash and the daughter …show more content…
In A Good Man is Hard to Find, the grandmother is the biggest supporter for the family vacation, but wants her way with the final destination choice. She tries to get the family to agree with her choice of Tennessee instead of Florida. The irony occurs when the grandmother deceitfully convinces her family to take a slight detour that ironically leads them directly into being victims of The Misfit. O’Connor creates another ironic twist at the end of the story when the grandmother recognizes that The Misfit is going to murder her. She begins to beg for life by trying to convince him that he is not evil and comes from a good family saying, "You 've got good blood! I know you wouldn 't shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady" (A Good Man Is Hard to Find 21). However The Misfit kills her anyway. O’Connor uses this irony to show that a person cannot escape fate no matter how hard they try. Christ haunts the South with this aspect. No matter how hard a person tries to falsely emit a Christ-centered lifestyle, on final judgement day they will still be on trial for their committed

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