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Analyze how the title of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" relates to the story itself.

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Introduction

In this essay I will analyze how the title of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" relates to the story itself. I will do this by looking closely at the use of these words as well as the use of "good man" and 'good woman" through out the short story. I will look at these words with special regard to tone and motivation. I will argue that Flannery O'Connor uses this as a title for her short story in a rather hopeless way as it comes across that; in fact, there are no good people, let alone men, in the world. I will also argue that it comes across that, if any thing, the best people are those that we least expect to be in any way good. The short story was written at a time of extreme moral change and upheaval in America and this comes through within the story in several ways. A good example of this is at Red Sammy's, where The Grandmother first uses the words "a good man", when The Grandmother talks to Red Sammy about the state of people at that time. ...read more.

Middle

A time gone by. The Misfit counters her, after the third time she says this, by saying that he is not a "good man" but he is not the worst. The Misfit, although he is a murderer, seems to have a far better concept of what a "good man" is. He himself has become what he is through reactions of society, the law in particular. He speaks to The Grandmother about Jesus and how he wishes that he could have been there when Jesus was alive, as then he may have been able to see a good man. He may have known that there was hope for society as if there was ever one good man then there may be others. As such it is not the case and he never saw Jesus so he has not much faith that there are good men any where, and he may as well not be good either. He then begins to draw parallels between himself and Jesus. He tells The Grandmother that he calls himself the Misfit because his punishments do not match up to the crimes that he has committed. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Grandmother echoes the past in her idea of what a good man is, she holds the apparent Christian point of view on the subject. A good man is one who prays, looks after his wife and treats a lady well and differently as well as keeps up the surface impression of a good man. It is a very patriarchal view. This is contrasted by The Misfits idea of a good man, of his opinion that there are in fact no good men. He looks at the words in a far deeper way, a way that looks at the goodness with in a human being, not just the apparent goodness on the outside. He is also far more cautious of the words, which indicates reverence for them. It can therefore be seen that Flannery O'Connor has indeed used this title very effectively to express the idea that there are no good men, or women in the world. She does so through the use of the words through out the story as well as paying attention to how they are said, where they are said and to whom. The title is therefore a very complementary one to the story that she is trying to tell. ...read more.

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