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SHORT FICTION ESSAY–This paper should be at least three pages long. You should use quotations from the story to prove your thesis. Quotations need to be cited in MLA format.

 Do not do outside research for the papers.

Take a short story we have read for class and analyze one of the following:

Point of View, Character, or Setting.

Choose from “Greasy Lake”,  “A Good

Man is Hard to Find,” “Sweat, or “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”

Name: Deebika Maharjan

Character Analysis: “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Flannery O’Connor’s characters in the short story A Good Man is Hard to Find

illustratively identifies with her narrative's title and point of view on goodness. She vividly

displays them as a group of people with mixed virtues, behaviors, and different ways of

expressing their feelings and inner beliefs, given the apparent circumstances. While some are

hypocritical, others are outspoken and ignorant of the consequences of whatever they are

doing or saying. O'Connor, hence, has used the story's characters, including The

Grandmother, The Misfit, and his friends, Bailey and his family, and the hotel's owners to

elaborate on his opinion concerning the story's title. The primary objective, in this case,

therefore, is to identify and elaborate on how these individuals have hypocritically, openly

and ignorantly shown how it is hard to find a trustworthy, honest and truthful people.

The Grandmother, who seems to dominate the entire story, considers herself to be a

religious, truthful, caring, and truthful person that ought to be emulated by others. In the first

paragraph, for instance, she shows how caring she is when opposing the proposal by Bailey to

go on a family trip to Florida. The Grandmother refuses the idea on the ground that it is

dangerous to head that way, considering that there is a wanted criminal, The Misfit, who is

also going there. "I wouldn't take my children in any direction with a criminal aloose in it."

She continues, "I couldn't answer to my conscious if I did," indicating that she cares for her

family and would not want any danger coming to them. She, however, is a hypocrite as she

ironically reveals her true self as a bad person throughout the story from the beginning to the

end. She precisely shows her real being when The Misfit and his two friends, Bobby Lee and

Hiram, appear after the family car overturns. First, she lies that their car turned twice,

although it was once; later, when the gang is about to kill them, The Grandmother is seen

Commented [1]: Deebika: you will want MLA format for

your final essay.

Commented [2]: A little confusing: how about “illustrate”


Commented [3]: I would delete this part.

Commented [4]: Delete “hence”

Commented [5]: I think it is more a roadhouse.

Commented [6]: To whom are you referring? O’Connor is a


Commented [7]: This is a little too confusing. Can you simplify this somewhat? Is this your thesis?

Commented [8]: who

Commented [9]: Don’t have a quote alone in a sentence.

Connect it to the previous sentence, or add “she said” or something like it.

Commented [10]: Need citation for quote.

Commented [11]: Self?

begging for her only without caring what will happen to the others. Although the family of six

is comprised of three males and three females, she says, “You wouldn’t kill a lady, would

you?” hoping the criminal will spare her life. The Grandmother, therefore, reflects a person

who believes others are wrong while she is right, whereas she is worse.

Bailey, The Grandmother's son, is seen as a man who is struggling to be the head of

his disorganized family of two misbehaved children, a baby, and a naïve wife. His authority is

questionable, as it seems like his decisions are influenced by those around him, including his

mother and children. As the head, he ought to be heard and respected, but that does not look

to be the case as is seen to be controlled and have to do what others demand regardless of the

consequences. Although the trip to Florida was his idea, he would have probably canceled it

were it not for the unruly intervention of his rude children, John Wesley and June Star, who

does not have any respect for anyone. John Wesley, for instance, is seen saying, “If you don’t

want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?” before his sister replies, "She wouldn't stay

at home to be a queen for a day." The rude comments by the two, therefore, reveal Bailey's

weakness in making firm decisions since it is only after this that The Grandmother agrees to

join in the journey to Florida despite her fears.

More so, the kids have proved their father to be a weak man during the journey after

their grandmother proposes that they should visit an old plantation. Despite disagreeing with

his mother initially, Bailey is forced to head towards the plantation by the yelling and

demands of his children. With additional screaming by the baby, John Wesley and June Star

disturb his father by shouting at him with even the son kicking the back of the driver’s seat

such that Bailey could feel the blows in the kidneys according to O’Connor. Not only are they

annoying, but they are also badly brought-up kids, who indicate parental irresponsibility. The

mother too, does not seem to care what her children do or say to adults, although everything is

happening in her presence. She ignores her duties as a parent to correct or punish her kids

Commented [12]: Word missing.

Commented [13]: As he is seen?

Commented [14]: Don’t speculate on what might have

happened because we just want to deal with what’s there in

the story.

Commented [15]: If you mean both children, you need a plural verb.

Commented [16]: says

Commented [17]: no need to sermonize about the children.

whenever they are misbehaving, but on the contrary, she sits there watching no wonder the

author describes her face as a broad and innocent like a cabbage. Her naivety would not allow

her to see the consequences of the children's bad behavior like their father, who gives in to all

demands coming his way.

Correspondingly, The Misfit, who says he is neither a good person nor is he the worst

boasting that he is like other people according to his father. “My daddy said different I was a

different breed of dog from my brothers and sisters.” So, from this statement, it is undeniable

that The Misfit does not regret his actions as a criminal, and at no time does not he consider

them wrong. He does what suits him and does not care or listen to anybody inconsiderate of

one’s status or position. "I am doing alright by myself." The criminal says this after The

Grandmother asks him why he does not pray to imply that he does not believe even in God,

although he seems to have doubts about whether Jesus raised the dead or not. He says, "I

wasn't there, so I can't say He didn't," in the discussion about Jesus as the old lady tries to

plead for her life. Finally, just like their leader, Bobby Lee and Hiram are criminals that can

kill without any conscience or remorse. They follow orders obediently when told to kill

Bailey, his wife, and children and dispose of The Grandmother's body after she is shot

multiple times by The Misfit. Therefore, all these characters have shown what O’Conner is

trying to imply by titling his story A Good Man is Hard to Find because none of them is good.

Commented [18]: You want to stick to what the story tells

us, but avoid making judgments on what we really aren’t

concerned with in the actual story. Don’t read more into it!

Commented [19]: Can you reword this so it is more related to the events of the story?

Commented [20]: boasts

Commented [21]: introduce quote

Commented [22]: again, don’t have quote alone in sentence.

Commented [23]: Is this a word?

Commented [24]: Wrong format for short story. You need

quotation marks, not italics.