O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find
An examination of the author’s use of incongruity in this work.
This paper analyzes Mary Flannery O’Connor’s work A Good Man is Hard to Find in light of the incongruity used throughout. Religion and abandonment, violence, suffering, and death presented with a comic style, and even the title against the content of the story are among the points discussed demonstrating this style.
This incongruity is also seen in terms of the way O’Connor intertwines the physical and the spiritual, and the mechanical and the organic. In A Good Man Is Hard to Find, the automobile carries a spiritually vapid family to their rendezvous with evil. The family is taking a trip to East Tennessee to visit relatives, all at the instigation of the willful and obsessed grandmother who pushes the family forward with her own machine-like intensity. The family has an accident when the old woman’s cat jumps on her son, Bailey, causing him to veer off the road. The evil they encounter comes from another vehicle, a car driven by three escaped convicts. News of the convicts has been brought to the family prior to this by way of another machine the car radio. The family extricates itself from one wreck only to run right into something much worse when the grandmother tells the Misfit she knows who he is.
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