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The Plot of "a Good Man Is Hard to Find"

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Eminent Destiny

It all starts with a typical family road trip. There is a controlling back seat driver, the hyper children, and the passenger who is oblivious to anything but sleep. Bailey takes his mother and the rest of his family on what is supposed to an enjoyable trip. The grandmother becomes obsessed with an escaped convict and tries to persuade her son to a new destination in hopes of avoiding him. However, her actions are what make the story. Style and plot are used together to create a believable setting in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find".

The plot of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is in chronological order. Starting from the discussion of a trip between the family, up until the deaths of them. It became predictable when the grandmother continuously rambled on about The Misfit and then three men showed up after the family's accident. The exposition of the story reveals the grandmother's overwhelming need to have a say in everything that goes on. It also reveals her personality, which becomes a major part in the end when she comes face to face with The Misfit. It also reveals the mother's obliviousness to events happening around her. Foreshadowing is used greatly in the beginning of the story. "Here this fellow is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida"(367) is the first hint given about the trip may wind up, since the family is headed to Florida for it. Another time, is when the grandmother's attire is discussed. She appeared to be dressed in her "Sunday best" so that "In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady."(368); this could be giving hints to her imminent death at the end. The conflict occurs between the grandmother and herself. However, it is not until she is pleading for her life at the end, that it is clear. Throughout the story, the grandmother is bossy, and acting almost like June and John do on the car ride. She constantly begs her Bailey to go to Georgia to see the old plantation, yet she disciplined the children for wanting to take a shorter route to their destination. In the end, when the grandmother faces The Misfit, she realizes that her actions are much like his (377). From beginning to end, the plot is unified. Each event, in one way or another, ties to the end.

O'Conner used an informal, simple vocabulary in "A Good Man Is Hard to find". The story uses a mixture of short and long sentences, and is easily read. The lengthy sentences are not complex, but are straightforward. The shorter ones seemed to be a little more difficult to understand, mainly in the dialogue. "She would of been a good woman [...] if it had been someone there to shoot her every minute of her life."(377) was one of the main ones that made the reader think. O'Conner was not sympathetic of any of her characters.



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