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A Good Man is Hard to Find
Transcript of A Good Man is Hard to Find
By Flannery O'Connor
Essential Question: What does it mean to be a "good" person?
Answer: A good person is subjective to their own moral code, and whether they can stick to it.
Main Theme - Good vs. Evil
Grandmother changes what is "good" according to her beliefs and needs
Calls Red Sammy a good man for trusting two men to charge gas.
Tells the Misfit he is a good man to save herself.
The Misfit is evil but sticks to his moral code of, "No pleasure but meanness"
Motivation for cruelty comes from past experience "I found out the crime don't matter. You can do one thing or you can do another, kill a man or take a tire off his car, because sooner or later you're going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it."
Setting & Mood
Family road trip from Georgia to Florida during the summer of 1955.
Detour outside of Toombsboro to visit plantation with a secret panel.
Grandmother upsets the cat Pitty Sing, causes the car to flip over.
Grandmother, Bailey & the Mother in shock; John Weasley & June Star are excited.
Grandmother waves down "a big black battered hearse-like automobile" for help.
Ominous feelings get worse after the accident & meeting the Misfit.
Characterization: Misfit & Grandmother
Situational Irony/ Saving Grace
Grandmothers moment of clarity "Why you're one of my babies"
Reaches out to the misfit but he shoots her three times.
Misfit notices the change "She would of been a good women, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."
Misfit Changes his code "It's no real pleasure in life"
Symbolism - Grandmother's Hat
A proper southern lady, and religious.
"In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady."
Tries to adjust the brim, but falls off, and her selfish image.
Original Sin - all people are born sinners and must be saved by the grace of God.
Herself: A proper Lady, honest, wise
Reader: Liar, selfish, racist, pretentious.
Dramatic Irony - Grandmother
After the accident - "The road was about ten feet above...Behind the ditch they were sitting in there were more woods, tall and dark and deep."
Upon meeting the Misfit - "Behind them the line of woods gaped like a dark open mouth."
After the family was taken into the woods - "There was not a cloud in the sky nor any sun. There was nothing around her but woods."
The dragon by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. - St. Cyril of Jerusalem
"I call myself The Misfit […] because I can't make what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment"
Deep conviction about his moral code.
Thoroughly considered religion and concluded "[Jesus] shouldn't have [raised the dead]. He thrown everything off balance."
Has to see it to believe it.
Flimsy morals "Maybe He didn't raise the dead."
Weak - does not fight for anyone else.
Only calls out to her son Bailey.