Racism In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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In her short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, Flannery O’Connor introduces the reader to a world of family issues, danger, and murder. The story was written in 1955 during a period of social and racial unrest in the southern United States. Mostly, the story follows O 'Connor 's basic Southern Gothic writing style, a work that is "cold and dispassionate, as well as almost absurdly stark and violent" (Galloway). While the quote gives major insight into the tone of the story, it does not offer a glimpse into O 'Connor 's real message of the story. Her take on the characters is a complex mixture of agreement and disapproval. The reader almost wants to feel sorry for them, which is one reason why this work is controversial. In this eye opening …show more content…
Racism adds a dimension to the grandmother that makes the reader question her character further. Her racism manifests itself when she calls a black adolescent a "cute little pickaninny" (O 'Connor 132). “Pickaninny” is a term used to describe a very dark-skinned African American child; its literal meaning is often offensive because it caricatures those children as animals. She masked her racist statement by calling the child "cute," but her racist views are frequently expressed in the story. The grandmother is also an elitist in her own mind. Peter Jansen, a literary analyst who wrote on her behavior, states that her elitist attitude caused her to dress "from head to toe in white" (Jansen). Even though she is not rich, she still has an aristocratic attitude. Perhaps the grandmother 's racist views contributed toward those thoughts of herself and the world around her. These flaws have contributed toward established character traits that puts her family in …show more content…
It is one story in which the reader has trouble deciding who is right and who is wrong. O 'Connor makes her point "through spiritually or physically grotesque characters" (Kelley). The Grandmother is thought to be the hero by O’Connor herself, who said in a 1963 interview "the heroine of the story, the Grandmother, is in the most significant position life offers the Christian. She is facing death. And to all appearances she, like the rest of us, is not too well prepared for it. She would like to see the event postponed" (Votteler). But ultimately she becomes the piece 's second villain when her self-centered attitude causes harm to her kin. This short but impactful story teaches us that we all have a little of the grandmother inside. That part of the human mind that means well but can be hurtful to those around us. O 'Connor through this work helps humanity not to be unaware "misfits" by revealing what can happen when selfish attitudes go

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