A good man is hard to find discussion questions answers

    He becomes upset when Bailey speaks harshly to the grandmother, as he believes no one should be rude to their parents. What does it mean to describe what the story "means"? He believes only in tangible things—those items he can see and touch. While the grandmother does indeed receive redemption, it is gained at the cost of her life. O'Connor's essays have been collected in Mystery and Manners Farrar, A good man is hard to find discussion questions answers [PUNIQRANDLINE-(au-dating-names.txt)

    Red Sammy Butts's wife replies, "I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he didn't attact this place right here. The family does not respect or care much for the grandmother. As she expresses her concern about the trip to Florida, Bailey and the children's mother don't even respond to her. Bailey hardly speaks to his mother. His silent glare of refusal communicates far more than would be conveyed by a simple "no. Attention from her grandchildren is mainly in the form of insults.

    The only time they respond positively to anything she says is when she tells the story about the plantation—and then their reaction is to loudly demand to be taken to see this "house with a secret panel. His outburst and the grandmother's tears manage to embarrass The Misfit, a hardened criminal.

    The Misfit recalls his mother as the finest woman God ever made, and Bailey's lack of regard for the grandmother does not sit well with him. This may be part of the reason that Bailey is one of the first family members sent to the woods.

    The grandmother does not want to go to Florida and makes that known to her family. John Wesley suggests that she not accompany the family. June Star asserts the grandmother will go because she is "afraid she'd miss something. She has to go everywhere we go. These traits lead the grandmother to obsess over The Misfit.

    When The Misfit and his men find the family along the road, the grandmother is sure she has seen him before. When the family is confronted by The Misfit and a good man is hard to find discussion questions answers gang, Bailey declares, "We're in a terrible predicament! Nobody realizes what this is. All of them have seen the guns, and the grandmother has—unfortunately—identified The Misfit. Bailey is quiet, awkward, and, although he wants the best for his family, he is a coward.

    While The Misfit engages in a discussion with the grandmother about Jesus, he is not a believer. The Misfit wishes he could have been there to see if Jesus raised people from the dead because if he'd been there, "I would of known and I wouldn't be like I am now. However, The Misfit cannot believe, which brings him pain and causes him to act in violent ways. He believes only in tangible things—those items he can see and touch. For example, The Misfit says he cannot argue about having killed his father because the authorities have the papers—something tangible.

    There is no evidence that the grandmother gives any thought to inform her opinions and attitudes. For example, when the grandmother discusses better times with Red Sammy Butts, the narrator states the grandmother's opinion as, "Europe was entirely to blame for the way things were now.

    The grandmother simply talks and has no backup for her opinions. On the other hand The Misfit shows reasoning in why he behaves—and believes—as he does. Because he cannot rationalize God, The Misfit does not hold religious beliefs. He wishes he could believe, and the inability to do so causes him pain. a good man is hard to find discussion questions answers

    Understanding "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

    The grandmother claims to be a Christian. As part of her belief system, to be a lady and a good person one must be a believer in Jesus.

    This is part of the southern mentality that she personifies. When the grandmother is in trouble, she calls out to Jesus. On the other hand The Misfit says since he does not know whether Jesus raised the dead, he doesn't know whether to believe in Him or not. Nature mimics her — or does it mock her? As the car travels out of the Atlanta area, she calls attention to. Plot Structure as a Metaphor.


    The plot structure seems to be a metaphor for life. One might label the parts of the plot as follows:. Dramatic irony occurs when a character in a literary work fails to divorced dating at 50 what is obvious to the reader or, in the case of a play, the audience.

    The most famous example of dramatic irony in literature occurs in Sophocles' play, Oedipus Rexwhen he fails to realize what is clear to the audience: that a traveler he kills on a road is his own father and that a woman he marries is his own mother. But to the reader, her actions reveal her as another person. She primps excessively, lies, uses racist language, begrudges America's goodwill contributions to a good man is hard to find discussion questions answers Europe, and foolishly blurts out that she recognizes The Misfit.

    Not until the story takes a tragic turn does she begin to realize that she is not who she thinks she is. Situational irony occurs when a development in a story is the opposite of what the reader expects. Her enlightenment allows her to redeem herself by casting off her selfishness and reaching out to the deranged killer.

    When he shoots her, she dies with a smile on her face, happy that she had become a good woman before it was too late. In effect, The Misfit's evildoing leads to the old woman's redemption.


    Flannery O'Connor makes every word contribute to the overall effect of a story. When she uses figures of speech, they are not mere dressing to demonstrate technical skill but integral parts of the story, as in the following highlighted simile describing the children's mother: "[She was] a young woman in slacks, whose face was as broad and as innocent as a cabbage. This simile, together with the words before it, stresses the mother's guilelessness and callowness, making it easy for others in her family to manipulate her.

    In Red Sammy's restaurant, she plays "The Tennessee Waltz" on the jukebox, perhaps suggesting that she wanted to go to Tennessee too but was afraid to speak up. Other effective similes in the story include the following:. Like his mother, Bailey has an opportunity to redeem himself, an opportunity presented when he is "squatting in the position of a runner about to spring forward.

    Apparently, he is considering rushing The Misfit to save his mother and family. But he remains fixed in that position; he fails to act.

    A Good Man is Hard to Find

    He is attempting to hearten and console her. Does the narrator endorse the grandmother's attitude? And what do we make of her naming a cat Pitty Sing--a pseudo-Japanese name that sounds less like Japanese a good man is hard to find discussion questions answers like a babytalk version of "pretty thing"? Is O'Connor simply presenting characteristically racist attitudes of not particularly admirable characters?

    I find Alice Walker's comments helpful here, on O'Connor's respectful reluctance to enter the minds of black characters and pretend to know what they're thinking. O'Connor is usually compared to writers who are southern or gothic or Catholic or some combination thereof: e. The following questions can be given to students in advance or used to guide discussion during class:.

    What qualities of the grandmother do you like? What qualities do you dislike? How did you feel when The Misfit killed her? How would you characterize the other members of the family? What is the function of images like the following: the mother's "face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like a rabbit's ears" and the grandmother's "big black valise looked like the head of a hippopotamus"?

    What does the grandmother mean by a "good man"? Whom does she consider good people? How, if at all, does she affect him? Is Big flirt skirt Misfit a believable character, and a believable personification of evil? Could a grandfather have filled the role of the grandmother in the story? Cite This Page. Logging out…. Logging out You've been inactive for a while, logging you out in a few seconds I'm Still Here!

    W hy's T his F unny?

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