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It's a Small World After All

Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what he did to these people.
In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.
O'Connor, ''A Good Man is Hard to Find'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

These two quotes, along with others, clearly foreshadow the disastrous end the Wesley family is doomed to in the end of O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Despite these instances of foreshadowing, however, O'Connor still manages to entirely shock his readers with the abruptness of this disaster. At one point, the reader is simply in for an annoying car ride. Then, suddenly, with the escape of the cat, the Wesley's lives are literally flipped upside down.

In general, I thought the story was entirely depressing. O'Connor's title, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," could not have been more fitting because in the entire story I did not find a single character I liked. The father was simply a jerk, the mother was detached and unemotional, the children were annoying little brats, and the grandmother was old fashioned and naive. I could not find a single truly "good" character in the entire story.

Comments (1)


Ellen, I think you are right. O'Connor certainly doesn't set it up so that we identify or sympathize with any character in particular. I know I was sad when the Misfit killed the family members, but there wasn't one in particular that I felt a strong connection with. I find this interesting because in Trifles, the majority of the class seemed to feel some sort of sympathy for Mrs. Wright and she wasn't even in the story really! If we had watched the play, we would never have actually seen Mrs. Wright because she had no lines, she was merely mentioned and talked about. Yet, we connect with her better than we connect with anyone in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” where all the characters have some direct dialogue. Why do you think O’Connor might do that?


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