Exploring The Women’s Rights Movement With Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O´Conner

1156 words - 5 pages

Flannery O’Conner came from a well-established Christian family, yet her writing demonstrated a wildly different perspective on life when compared to her upbringing (Gordon). O’Conner published “A Good Man is Hard to Find” in 1955, which became wildly popular due to the way it portrayed family values, yet twisted violence into its plot at the same time (Gordon). This particular writing style helped set her apart from authors of her time. Unfortunately, she died on August 3rd, 1964 and would never see the recognition that her work achieved over its lifetime (Gordon).
During the 1950s, Americans were living in what is considered a nuclear family (People & Events…). This is considered to be a family where a man is the head of the household, while the women tends to the rigors of daily household chores (People & Events...). In Flannery O’Conner’s story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the reader can correlate how the grandmother is portrayed with how society at the time viewed women (O'Conner). The grandmother often reached out to her family and was ignored constantly, just as women’s rights were largely ignored during that time (O'Conner,). In this regard, the grandmother portrays the women’s rights movement itself while the family portrays the society that ignores the issue at hand. In turn, the Misfit plays the role of the government. When the family first comes into contact with the Misfit, the grandmother recognizes him and tells him he is a good man (O'Conner). However, the Misfit has her grandchildren dragged into the woods and killed, which helps symbolize how powerless women were at that time over men (O'Conner). There was nothing she could do about it unless society stood up and took action. Furthermore, the mother screaming “where are you taking them” portrays how society at this time would ask questions but would never take action to rectify the situation (O'Conner). Lastly, the father of the children stood idly by while his wife and mother needed them most, yet he failed to take action, which once again shows a relationship between how society treated women of that time and “A Good Man is Hard to Find (O'Conner).
Furthermore, in today’s society, this story demonstrates how women that are raped are having their rights stripped away by today’s government. In 2000 CBS was forced to pay eight million dollars in order to “settle a sex discrimination lawsuit” (We Are Women). That same year, the Federal Government invalidated the Violence Against Women Act, which permitted individuals who were victims of rape or abuse “to sue their attackers in federal court” (We Are Women). In this particular viewpoint, the grandmother portrays the women’s right movement and how it struggles for recognition just to be shot down by the corrupt government of the time. She does this by attempting to associate with the Misfit on a more personal level by stating “I just know you’re a good man.” The grandmother even offers to give the Misfit a shirt to wear after...

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