“A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor

A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Good Country People are two short stories written by Flannery O’Connor. A Good Man Is Hard To Find tells the story of a family who is on vacation and gets lost. They come across a dangerous serial killer, The Misfit, and things take a turn for the worse. Good Country People tells the story of a woman named Hulga who has a wooden leg.

She is dating a man named Joy-Boy, who is not very smart. Hulga meets a man named Mr. Freeman who starts to talk to her about her wooden leg and ends up taking it from her. Both of these stories are dark and show the ugly side of human nature. Flannery O’Connor is a master of the short story and these two are some of her best.

Flannery O’Connor’s two short stories, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and “Good Country People,” are two of her less-known works. Despite the literary excellence of O’Connor’s writings, she is frequently condemned for the repulsiveness of her characters and conclusions. Her work have been labeled as ” Understated, neat, unoriginal fiction with a Southern backdrop and a Roman Catholic perspective in protest to those restless innovators who came before her and rose to prominence after her death.”

Despite this, her stories are often taught in American literature courses across the country. “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is about a family who is taking a road trip to Florida. The grandmother is the matriarch of the family and is very set in her ways. She insists on taking a backroad to avoid the traffic, and she also wants to visit some old plantation homes along the way.

The family is made up of the mother, father, and their two children, a daughter and son. The story follows their journey as they encounter different obstacles along the way. The story concludes with the family being in a car accident that kills everyone except the father.

“Good Country People” is about a woman named Hulga Hopewell. Hulga is a thirty-two year old woman who has been left legless below the knee due to a hunting accident when she was ten years old. Because of her disability, Hulga has become a very cynical person.

She is also very intellectual and has a Ph.D. in philosophy. The story follows Hulga as she meets a man named Manley Pointer, who she believes is a Bible salesman. However, it is later revealed that Manley is actually a con artist who plans to steal Hulga’s wooden leg. The story ends with Manley getting caught and Hulga being left alone with her disability once again.

Both “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and “Good Country People” are about characters who are not content with the lives that they have been given. The grandmother in “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is very set in her ways and does not want to change, even if it means being in a car accident. Hulga Hopewell in “Good Country People” is also unhappy with her life.

She is cynical and unapproachable because of her disability. However, both of these characters are forced to face their problems in the end. The grandmother has to face the fact that she is going to die in a car accident, and Hulga has to deal with the fact that Manley Pointer is a con artist who has stolen her wooden leg.

The concluding section of “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” entitled “No Country For Old Men,” is roughly fifty pages long. The stories are both ironically twisted tales about different families whose lives are changed after they trust a stranger only to be deceived. Each narrative explores Christian theology, new-versus-old South themes, and fallen human nature. In O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” she introduces the reader to a family representative of the old and modern Southern culture.

On the other hand, the family as a whole embodies the new South culture by their complete lack of manners, vulgar language, and disregard for anything that would be considered proper. This contrast plays out throught the story as the grandmother tries to hold on to her old-fashioned values while the rest of her family mocks and disregards them.

The story culminates with the family being killed by a serial killer, which can be interpreted as O’Connor’s statement about how the old ways are dying out and being replaced by a new, more dangerous way of life. In “Good Country People”, O’Connor tells the story of two women who represent different aspects of Christianity. Mrs. Freeman is a practicing Christian who goes to church and tries to live her life according to Christian values. Hulga, on the other hand, is an atheist who looks down on people like Mrs. Freeman and thinks they are fools for believing in God.

Hulga’s views are challenged when she meets a man who pretends to be interested in her, but is really just trying to take advantage of her. This story highlights the dangers of pride and judgment, as well as the importance of maintaining a child-like faith. O’Connor’s stories are both darkly humorous and deeply thought-provoking, and offer readers a unique perspective on Southern culture.

O’Connor writes “her collars and cuffs were organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady”(O’Connor 118). In this short story, “the wild diproportion of the terms, the vapid composure that summons up the ultimate violence only to treat it as a rare social opportuinty, and the cool irony with which O’Connor presents the sentence makes it both fearful and ludicrous”.

The Misfit is on the loose, and the grandmother is trying to get her family to safety. She does not want them to end up like the others that have met The Misfit. In the end, the grandmother gets what she wanted, but not in the way that she thought she would.

In “Good Country People”, Mrs. Hopewell is a Bible salesman who is very proud of her daughter, Joy. Joy has a wooden leg and is very intelligent. However, Joy is also very naïve. Hulga is Joy’s step-daughter and she is a college student. Hulga has a PHD in philosophy, but she is also very cynical. Mrs. Freeman is a woman who is very religious and she takes care of the Hopewells.

In this story, Mrs. Hopewell is trying to find a good country person for her daughter to marry. She thinks that Joy would be better off with someone who is religious and has a good moral character. However, Hulga ends up marrying Manley Pointer, even though she does not really love him. Manley is not a good country person, but he does have a good job. Hulga gets what she wants in the end, but it is not what her mother wanted for her.

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