Character Misconceptions Essay

1123 words - 5 pages

Flannery O’Connor’s Southern Gothic short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” is one of sudden violence; although, it begins rather uneventful (Kaplan 1). Bailey, his wife, and their children, John Wesley, June Star, and a baby boy, are all looking forward to a trip to Florida. Grandmother, Bailey’s mom, wants to go to east Tennessee to see her relatives, not Florida. She uses an article in the newspaper that tells of an escaped criminal, the Misfit, which is headed to Florida to try to persuade her son into not going there. Her attempt at persuading her son fails, and so the adventure begins. While the grandmother and the Misfit are the central figures of Flannery O’Connor’s short ...view middle of the document...

These examples are important because they bring a sense of seriousness and caring to a story that has been somewhat comical at times. They also give the reader an absolute sense of how the mood or atmosphere of the story is taking a turn towards a more serious nature. Bailey shows this kind nature with other characters in the story too, but not quite as much as he does with his son, John Wesley.
O’Connor shows in many instances how John Wesley, the eight year old son of Bailey, resembles his father in many ways. He too has angry outbursts that resemble those of his father. In the car, while trying to convince his father to stop at the house that the grandmother wants to see, he continuously kicks the back of his father’s seat (O’Connor 548). This could lead the reader to believe that he is just a spoiled child, and does not play an important role in the story; however, that is not the case. John Wesley shows the reader a completely different side of himself when he and his father are facing the Misfit, and ultimately death. He becomes very quiet, and the reader does not see any of the outbursts from him that they might have expected. He also willingly takes the hand of his father and allows him to lead him into the woods where his demise is certain. He does this without any reaction or outburst at all. These actions by John Wesley, just like those of his father, give the reader a sense of just how serious the situation is, and proves to the reader that the story is anything but comical at this point. The author makes it easy for the reader to see that John Wesley is an important character in the story, but he is not any more important than his sister June Star.
On the surface, June Star might not seem to be very important to the story. She sees herself as a princess, but she is actually quite vain. She is very materialistic, spoiled, and does not have compassion for anyone except herself (Brandon). In these ways, she resembles one of the central characters in the story, the grandmother. As the story...

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