A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Divine Grace in the Imperfect but Funny World of Human Beings

Grotesque in style, Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” portrays a comical tone through the irony of repulsive characters. Written in third person, O’Connor narrates the story in testimony to her intense realistic observation which demands hope through cynical events that occur on a family trip to Florida. The trip foreshadows events leading into an encounter by an escaped convict named “The Misfit” who murders the family as a whole in the end. A theme that lingers in her story is the divine grace in the imperfect but funny world of human beings. From the authors’ oeuvre, audiences can grasp the effect of American South Literature in the diction and tone and irony of the short story.
Introduced to all the main characters at the beginning of the chapter, one can already depict the mentality of them through testimony and imagery. In the first paragraph the narrator already depicts a debased, sly, unsympathetic view of the main character—grandma, “The grandmother didn't want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey's mind (Paragraph 1).” She has a bitter approach to her family because she feels as if the elderly have the power of decision making, as she was raised. When the grandma prepares for the trip she puts on a ‘clean cut appearance’ with a blue navy dress, she notes that the children’s mother lacks in appearance and appreciation for the trip. It seems as if though her connection with the family lacks in communication and cultural allocation. Grandma wants to appear above everyone else, because she is the wiser person and of higher class. For example in the quote, “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady (Paragraph 12),” proves that she relies on materialistic views of the world and isn’t optimistic or secure with...