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Analysis of the Grandmother in A Good Man is Hard to Find

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Laura Harvey Mr. Fink English 20 3 November 2008 Analysis of the character The Grandmother in A Good Man is Hard to Find In the short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, the Grandmother, the protagonist, is a round and dynamic character that can easily be identified for her obnoxious and old fashioned ways. It is not until the latter part of the story in which another side of her is exposed and her favourable qualities, even if by obligation, are exhibited. The strong characterization of the Grandmother is built by the author through the use of diction, visual imagery, and dialogue. In the beginning of the story the author immediately reveals the Grandmother as selfish, cantankerous, and manipulative when her vacation fancies differentiate from that of her son, Bailey, and his family. She would rather visit her relatives in Tennessee whereas Bailey's interest is directed toward a family trip to Florida. The Grandmother's manipulative trait is clearly suggested in the quotation, "she was seizing every chance to change Bailey's mind." ...read more.


Instead of reprimanding the children she elicits an immature response towards the remark. Finally, the relationship between the Grandmother and her son suggests that she does not treat her son as an adult. In the quotation, "Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy", by using the diction of "boy" it clearly demonstrates her protective maternal regard for her son which can also be identified in the quotation, "She stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head". The Grandmother's actions are obviously not the typical way that a mother would address a mature adult. Also, through the diction of "rattling" it is demonstrated that the Grandmother is disrespectful and pushy. Another important aspect of the story in terms of dialogue is the Grandmother's worldview that is expressed explicitly on multiple occasions. One of these occurs when her grandson, John Wesley, claims that he would prefer to drive through Georgia fast so he won't see much of it. The Grandmother replies, "In my time, children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. ...read more.


The Grandmother's final scene with the "Misfit" portrayed an interesting transformation of her character who initially was overly concerned about outward appearances and looking good to a woman who in the end implores with her killer, trying to flatter him to save her own life. When she reaches out to him and says, "You're one of my own children", she has basically accepted that everyone has both a good and evil side, even herself. Her reference to Jesus implies that He loves everyone despite their behaviour, which is a turnaround from her former discontent with her own family and racist comments earlier. The Grandmother transforms throughout the story from a person who is very egocentric and selfish to someone who now believes that she is part of the whole human connection with God. She accepts that there is good and evil in everybody and it is demonstrated that sometimes it takes a near death crisis for a person to realize it. Through the use of literary elements and detailed descriptions the author creates an immensely characterized protagonist that we can all learn from. ?? ?? ?? ?? Harvey 2 ...read more.

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