L. Sarhan has a B.A. in English and also Creative Writing. She presently working on an M.A. in English and also Creative Writing.

You are watching: A good man is hard to find imagery


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Note: All interpretation made by anyone other than the Flannery O’Connor herself is speculative and subjective to opinion. The following are potential interpretations of facets included in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor.

L. Sarhan


Flannery O’Connor was a Southern Catholic writer that delighted in composing stories via a deeper religious message. Often times, her creating would attend to topics discovered in the destruction of religious values facing the south in the 1950s. To get the readers’ attention, she would employ the usage of dramatic irony and gruesome shock determinants.

“In my very own stories I have actually discovered that violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to fact and preparing them to accept their minute of grace. Their heads are so tough that practically nothing else will execute the occupational.” Flannery O’Connor (1963)


The intent of this post is to carry to light some of the more generally discussed symbolism and also foreshadowing methods that O’Connor brilliantly inserts in the brief story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find", to give it a higher definition.


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The Misfit Makes Headlines

"Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed towards Florida and you review here what it says he did to these people. Just you review it. I wouldn't take my children in any kind of direction via a criminal prefer that aloose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscience if I did." (Flannery O’Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find")


Tbelow is no doubt that The Misfit takes facility stage of O’Connor’s story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Grandmother makes for the perfect pre-display hype guy. From the very beginning of the story, these 2 main characters are in play. The Grandmother tells Bailey, her kid, that a serial killer has escaped the penitentiary and also he calls himself the Misfit. Right tbelow is blatant foreshadowing that the household will certainly eventually cross paths through the Misfit.


She continues by saying, “I wouldn't take my kids in any kind of direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscientific research if I did." However, in a motion of dramatic irony, that is specifically what she did. It was her principle to drive dvery own the dirt road after a house that was actually in Tennescheck out. Even after remembering that the residence remained in Tennescheck out, she retained quiet. Thus, it was bereason of the Grandmom that her child and her grandchildren were put in the course of the Misfit.

The Misfit plays a hefty duty in blatant verbal foreshadowing as the grandmommy sporadically mentions the Misfit at eexceptionally possibility throughout the story.

The Grandmommy Wants to Visit East Tennessee

“THE GRANDMOTHER didn't desire to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her relationships in east Tenneswatch and also she was seizing at eextremely chance to readjust Bailey's mind.” (Flannery O’Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find")


The grandmom feels nostalgic for her ties to East Tennescheck out. From the initially sentence, it mirrors the grandmother’s manipulative attempt to get her method. She takes the possibility to attempt to convince the household to go to East Tenneswatch rather of Florida on account of the Misfit being on the loose however they disregard her request. Throughout the drive, the grandmom tells stories from her younger years in East Tennessee. Then, she remembers a house via a mystery passagemeans. She gets the youngsters excited around the home and also badger Bailey till he begrudgingly decided to take the family members down a dirt road towards this alleged house. After driving for a while, the grandmom is startled to remember that the home they were looking for was actually in East Tenneswatch.


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The Grandmother's Hat

“…the grandmom had on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white vioallows on the brim…” (Flannery O’Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find")

Often overlooked is the symbolism and also foreshadowing of the grandmother’s hat. The hat symbolizes the grandmother’s desire to be watch by the public as a lady, despite her hypocrucial moral code toward others. The grandmother justifies the means she dresses when the author hints us in via, “anyone seeing her dead on the highmeans would certainly understand at once that she was a lady.” Aget, the grandmother prepares for the specific occurrence that is going to happen later in the story.


The grandmother’s hat holds even more mystery. As the grandmother dresses in a lady-like outside appearance, she doesn’t seem to be worried as to how anyone would certainly perceive her family members or if they would certainly survive the hypothetical accident. As abovementioned, the hat represents the grandmother’s perception of being perceived to a higher conventional – as a lady with high moral worths. However, as soon as the actual accident occurs, the brim of the hat is in tatters – much favor her self-righteous and judgpsychological ethical code. As she drops the damaged hat, her deluded self-picture falls away, much prefer the brim of the hat.

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The Graveyard

“They passed a big cotton field via five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a little island…"Look at the graveyard!" the grandmom sassist, pointing it out. "That was the old family members burying ground. That belonged to the plantation."” (Flannery O’Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find")

As the family drives toward Florida, the household notices a graveyard fenced in on a hill in what provided to be an old plantation field. This is to recurrent the household and their impfinishing death. Keep in mind how the grandmommy especially points out that it is a “family” burying ground. What is additionally worth noting is that the text claims, “five or six graves”. One grave for each of the household members.