AGood Man is Hard to Find
FlanneyO’Connor’s short story, “Agood Man is Hard to Find”is about a family that is killed by a gang of three men when theywere out on vacation in Florida. Throughout the story, the authorportrays men as people with undesirable characters such asdisrespect, short-tempered, unreasonableness, authoritative, andreckless. On the other hand, women are portrayed as trustworthy,submissive, and morally good. However, could be the grandmother be afeminist? This essay hypothesizes that the grandmother is feministwhose beliefs prevent her from seeing facts from a realist’sperspective.
Aremale customers dishonest? According to the grandmother, Red Sam’sdebtors refused to pay for the petrol they filled at his stationbecause they were men. Sam claims that he allowed two men who weredriving a Chrysler, and supposedly worked at the mill, to fuel oncredit. However, they never returned to pay the debt (O`Connor 1).After Sam complains to the grandmother that he regrets giving theboys fuel on credit, she abruptly responds that he agreed to lendthem fuel because he was a good man (Wilson 16). However, thegrandmother was sarcastic. She was associating men with blind faith,gullibility, and poor judgment by calling Sam, a good man.
Areladies morally better than men? According to the grandmother, she isproud of being woman as females are free from common mistakes thatmen do. After the accident, she challenged the Misfit, "Youwouldn`t shoot a lady, would you(O`Connor 1)?" The statement portrays the grandmother as afeminist who believes that women are so righteous, such that evenmurders would have no reason for killing them. The Misfit was anotorious criminal, but she believed that he could spare her forbeing just a woman.
Onthe other hand, the grandmother had described the Misfit as avillain. She even attempted to convince Bailey that he should takethe children to Tennessee because the gangster was travelling towardsFlorida. “Iwouldn`t take my children in any direction with a criminal like thataloose in it. I couldn`t answer to my conscience if I did(O`Connor 1)." The statement was aimed at portraying the highrisk Bailey would be getting his family into by vacationing inFlorida. The grandmother emphasizes on Misfit’s malice, but whenthey came face-to-face, he showered him with praises that he was aman from a good family (O`Connor 1). She even attempted to convincehim that killing a lady was immoral, which could imply that he wasgiving him permission to kill his son and grandson – Bailey andWesley. The character portrays her as a selfish and insensitive womanwho was willing to sacrifice Bailey and Wesley to save her life. Heractions further portray her feminism attitude that makes her despisemen to the extent of trading the lives her Son and grandson for hersafety (Foreman 8).
Thegrandmother’s feministic characters are also evidenced by hertendency to portray black male children in a negative perspective.For example, she laments that the black child boy fed on a watermelonthat his maiden boyfriend, Edgar Atkins Teagarden of Jasper, Georgia.From the statement, the reader may wonder if the black boy was agirl, could he have eaten the melon that contained initials E.A.Tthat a child could mistake for permission to munch on the fruit(O`Connor 1)? The grandmother proceeds to declare that he would havemarried Edgar because he was a wealthy and good-looking man, anaction that further portrays her selfish interests. In fact, a man isgood to her if he is wealthy and good looking, but his characters donot matter since she thinks all men are villains (Jansen 14).
Insummary, “Agood Man is Hard to Find”is a feministic short narrative as can be proven by the grandmother.The grandmother uses the term “good man” sarcastically in variouscircumstances to portray men’s stupidity. In addition, she isconvinced that women are so virtuous that even criminals such asMisfit would not harm them. In addition, the story portrays theMisfit as a notorious criminal who had done many atrocities that madethe law enforcers put him behind the bars. However, the Misfitconfesses to the grandmother that he was a good man, a member of thechurch choir and he had a family, but the law-enforcers arrested andtortured him for crimes that he did not commit. Similarly, thegrandmother’s actions prove that women are not as virtuous as sheattempts to portray. For example, she tried to convince Bailey to goTennessee because she was nostalgic of visiting her girlhood homeplace. Besides, she was selfish because she pleaded with the Misfitthat he should not shoot a woman, thereby indicating that she wouldnot have minded if he could have killed Bailey and Wesley as long ashe could spare her life.
Jansen,Peter. Feminist Analysis of Flannery O`Connor`s “A Good Man isHard to Find”4th edition.
O`Connor,Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories. NewYork: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977. Internet resource.
Wilson,Fiona M. OrganizationalBehaviour and Gender.Aldershot [u.a.: Ashgate, 2003. Print.
Foreman,Elaine I, and Clair Pollard. Cbt,Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: A Practical Guide.London: Icon Books, 2011. Internet resource.