A Good Man Is Hard To Find Essay

862 WordsMar 29, 20094 Pages
Symbolism in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” In a superficial view, Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is no more than a simple story of a family travelling to Florida for the vacation and facing their last moment after confronting the escaped criminal, Misfit. However, it contains numerous foreshadows that allude to the ending of the story and O’Connor’s tremendous use of symbolism implicated in the conversations between characters at various parts of the story. It is very surprising how the author uses this symbolism and allusive descriptions to teach us a veiled lesson. One important thing needed to catch the symbolism of this story is the understanding of characters. Grandmother, the leading character of the story, is a lady who has a South-heritage deep in her heart and admires the glorious time-honored tradition of South. In the story generally, she is portrayed as a hypocritical and self-centered person who is very faithful to the manners and customs of the traditional South. When carrying her cat, Pitty Song, with her, for instance, she justifies herself in her own way, showing her self-centered characteristics. She also has a class consciousness and feels her own superiority of ‘lady.’ This is well demonstrated in the story through her saying of “Little niggers in the country don’t have things like we do. If I could paint, I’d paint that picture.” It is clearly inferred that she classifies humans into social classes and discriminates against them. Moreover, when the family is about to depart, she is wearing “a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print.” As a traveler, she is dressing abnormally, and it is noticeable that she is described as a traditional lady of South, representing the high social status. In her conversation with Red

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