Essay on Style in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"

842 Words Feb 19th, 2008 4 Pages
Flannery O'Connor's style in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" helps create the story of a dysfunctional family's summer vacation gone wrong. O'Connor's use of dark humor, foreshadowing, and imagery helps communicate the story's main theme: people in today's society treat others with little or no respect, unlike past times. The story takes place in Georgia, where a family of six is about to leave on a vacation to Florida. The grandmother wants to go to Tennessee and tries to convince her son Bailey and the rest of the family to go as well, but no one seems to listen to her or care about her opinion. On the way to Florida, grandmother remembers an old plantation she used to visit from her youth, and the family drives down an old dirt road to …show more content…
As the family waits for their lunch at The Tower, the owner, Red Sam, and grandmother begin to talk about people and how they are "certainly not nice like they used to be" that "a good man is hard to find" (1034). The use of foreshadowing here builds the story up to the introduction of the Misfit and his accomplices. While the outside world is being terrorized by vicious men such as the Misfit, grandmother can't even find a good man in her family. As the family's car races down an old dirt road toward the plantation, and farther and farther from civilization, the grandmother begins to wonder if she had been mistaken about the location. The road is described as having "sharp curves on dangerous embankments" and that the family "would be on a hill, looking down over the blue tops of trees for miles around, then the next minute, they would be in a red depression with the dust-coated trees looking down on them" (1035). "Red depression" conjures up the idea of the family lying in a pool of blood, while the "dust-coated trees" look solemnly over them. The family cat, Pitty Sing, soon causes an automobile accident and the family's car is flipped. As everyone emerges from the vehicle, grandmother waves down a "big black battered hearse-like automobile," another use of foreshadowing the family's grisly fate. The Misfit is referred to as having a "scholarly look" which almost makes him appear polite. The Misfit is immediately recognized by

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