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A Good Man Is Hard To Find: Morality Through Various Literary Devices

689 words - 3 pages

Flannery O’Connor’s short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, cleverly conveys morality through various literary devices. Her allegory is heavily loaded with irony and cryptic motifs. The diction and dialogue in the story is constructed very deliberately. The story portrays individuals with distorted dispositions on morality and the concept of ‘a good man’. And through their interactions, O’Connor is able to convey their misguided dispositions.
The main character of the story is the nameless grandmother. The grandmother is a very dynamic character, not because she really changes but because more about her personality is revealed to us. This progressive revelation of her character shows her to be the complete opposite of what was initially presented. At the start of the story, she is portrayed as a caring, modest and responsible lady. Initially, she seems to be the only one that cares about the welfare of other family members. She appears to be the only respectable individual in an unruly family. The first blatant indication that this is untrue is when she calls a Negro boy, a pickaninny. Calling the boy, ‘pickanniny’ is the equivalent of calling him a ‘nigga’. This racism is also evident in the grandmother’s discussion with Red Sammy about the ‘better times’. It appears she seems to prefer the formerly dehumanized status of the Negros during the prime of slave trade. At the end of the story is also clearly very selfish. When her family encounters the Misfit, she doesn’t beg for anyone but herself. This is a large contrast to her initial thoughtfulness at the start of the story. It appears that staring in the face of death has exposed the truth behind the grandmother’s persona.
The Misfit is another major character that may be considered by many as an antagonist. The Misfit unlike the grandmother is a static character, his ideologies and perceptions on morality doesn’t change. He appears to be a misguided prophet because of the manner with which he passes his...

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