‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ by Flannery O’Connor’s Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


The book ‘A good man is to Find’ is one among the many fictional short stories of O’Connor and was first published in the 1950s. It is regarded as a fictional story because it displays all the characteristics of this feature as it can be seen from the way characters have been depicted and how the author has described the Roman Catholic faith.

How the author integrates the Catholic faith into the story is impressive especially when she explains the function of the grace of God in an individual’s life. The story has terrific incidences and captivating at the same time. In this discussion, I am going to focus on how fiction is seen in the story.


The story begins on a low tone with a short description of the character of Misfit who had escaped madder before and later killed the whole family at the end of the story. The author defines biblical grace in the manner in which she describes this character. She defines beauty as the forgiveness given by God when one asks for it.

The Grandmother is described as a woman with unbearable personality; she is selfish and petty. But before her death, she attains grace when she identifies Misfit as her son. According to her story, O’Connor defines Gods’ grace as something compelling outside an individual and not deserved by everybody.

Almost all the characters in the story do not utilize their opportunities and miss out to realize them; instead, they are obstructed by their spiritual following from realizing the truth. ‘A good man too is hard to find’ is one of her initial works and strongly shows the theme of fiction. Even though the grandmother chooses to go Tennessee instead for Florida for a vacation, she gets everything ready for the journey including the cat and all the family in her car.

To make it funny, the grandmother takes time to dress up for the ride and does it with a purpose to show people that she was a lady in case an accident occurred on the highway. As the family proceeds with the journey, the author creates some impression of life and death scenes that makes the reader aware of what is going to happen. When the grandmother holds the baby, there is an apparent difference between the two, the wrinkled face of the grandmother and the smooth face of the baby.

Immediately after this incident, they pass what used to be the burying site of the family, and the grandmother shows them graves of their relatives. According to the author, the number of graves that she showed was equivalent to the number of occupants in the car. About the question paused by John Wesley; this is fictional as she remembers the passing of the death of the old south.

The events that took place at the Tower Café seemed to have been created to show more meaning unto which the characters were. The Tower represents the biblical Tower where the where children of Adam got confused when they were each made to talk in different tongues. The tower is also a low-level position where the characters have been placed to show their concerns for fellow men to hide their bad attitude.

From the conversations at the Tower, the characters seem not to agree on any issue. The grandmother annoys the son when she tells him to dance when the wife plays the ‘Tennessee Waltz’ which is not affordable while June Star insults Red Sammy as a show of bad manners that he always had (Marvin K. et al., 7).

The three are then engaged in a discussion on the worsening nature of the times and conclude that though they may be good people, ‘a good man is hard to find.’ They dismiss any responsibility of human occurrences and blame Europe for all the messes.

The grandmother falls asleep immediately after they leave the restaurant but wakes up at Toomsboro, which signifies what is going to happen to the family because it is in this place that she instigates the events that are to occur to the family. She remembers a garden that she had visited as a young lady and wishes she had done so again. By doing this, she succeeds in blackmailing the family by not telling them of the secret location in the house.

It is after they had negotiated the corner that the grandmother remembers that the house was in Tennessee. At some point in the journey, a hearse-like car appeared from a distance. The grandmother stood and waved to the people that were in the vehicle that was nearing them. It is at this point that Misfit decides the fate of the family.

During the events that occurred after the accident, the grandmother tried to use religion as a means of escaping death but was not successful. Misfit concluded that biblical Jesus is the only one with those powers. In a final attempt to redeem herself, the grandmother tells Misfit that he was one of her children. This manifests some of her wicked ways that she had been involved in and that it was a product of her hypocrisy.


‘A good man is hard to find’ is a fictional story as reflected from the narrations and scenes from the book. The theme of the book is based on biblical stories about real life as it has been discussed. The way grace works, the representation of the Tower, the mysterious accident and the conversations that took place after. Such events cannot occur in real life; hence the whole story is imaginary.

Work cited

Marvin K., etal. Literature: The Human Experience. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin, 2010.

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