February 07, 2012
“A Goodman is Hard to Find”
Imagine driving for hours on vacation only to be murdered by a serial killer. Unfortunately this is the reality of Flannery O'Connor's character, a nameless grandmother, in “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Driven by her self-righteousness, the grandmother considers herself morally superior to others because she is a faithful lady. As the story unfolds the reader's discover that the grandmother is morally corrupt, and awakens to her moral corruption through the antagonist, The Misfit. O'Connors use of foreshadowing and characterization conveys the general idea that their is a thin line between self-righteousness and self-destruction.
The element of foreshadowing begins when the grandmother pleads with her son, Bailey, to travel to Tennessee instead of Florida where The Misfit is lurking. "Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you 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 aloose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscience if I did" (O'Connor). Ironically the grandmother mentions that The Misfit is loose in Florida, but is not aware that he will lead to her demise. Mentioning the The Misfit in the beginning of the story foreshadows that he will appear at some point in the story and cross paths with the grandmother and her family. On the day of the trip the grandmother brings along her cat, Pitty Sing, who is partially responsible for the family's car accident. When the grandmother leads the family astray on abandoned road in hopes of lost memories she startles the cat that causes the family to crash, and cross paths with The Misfit. Once in the car, the grandmother is described as having a "big black valise that looked like...