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Manipulation And Deception In A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O’connor

1816 words - 8 pages

Lessons are learned through mistakes and experiences, but to completely understand the lesson, a person must be smart enough to profit from their errors and be strong enough to correct them. However, this was not the case for the main character in the short story; A Good Man is Hard to Find written by Flannery O’Connor. In this tale of manipulation and deception, O’Connor depicts the main character, the grandmother, as a shrewd self-centered woman, who considers herself morally superior than the other individuals. Throughout the entire story, she is seen using her manipulative tactics on everyone, which brought her to a sinister ending. O’Connor expertly portrayed the grandmother as a ...view middle of the document...

Clearly, the grandmother is not genuinely scared of this convict since she was willing to go to Florida later on when Bailey declined her suggestion on traveling to Tennessee. By using the Misfit to deter Bailey, she was hoping to apply guilt onto Bailey and force him to change his mind. She later adds, “I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that a loose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did.” (O’Connor 1) This additional reference supports the idea that the grandmother was trying to make Bailey feel shameful for even thinking of bringing the family to Florida. These two quotes worked together to assist my original statement that from the start, the grandmother had a shrewd personality. When the grandmother noticed that her strategies were unsuccessful, she decided to target the mother instead, “The children have been to Florida before, you’ll ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad.” (O’Connor 1) This excerpt was directed towards the mother who was not paying attention to the situation before hand. The grandmother is now using the children’s knowledge as an argument point. This is a very devious reason since the grandmother knows that most parents would want their children to become broad and knowledgeable in life. Therefore, by targeting the mother’s weak point, this was a very cunning move by the grandmother in the attempt to persuade the mother. As you can see, when the grandmother’s first few efforts failed, she continued on her scheming manner, but on different people instead. All these examples linked up together to prove that the grandmother was a crafty lady even from the beginning of the story. As the story progresses, we will start to notice that the grandmother still does not change her wrongdoings.
Up until now, we have noticed the grandmother’s distasteful techniques in manipulating people’s mind. But as the plot began to thicken, her methods were used more commonly and were really put to the test, up until the end. “’There was a secret panel in this house,’ she said craftily, not telling the truth.” (O’Connor 6) In this example, the grandmother was lying to the entire family so that they can visit an old plantation home. Although at first it may have sounded like she was talking to the family, but secretly, she was actually manipulating the children so that they would get excited over nothing. By deceiving the children, she was able to convince them to cajole their father into going to the empty plantation. This shows that not only could the grandmother directly influence a character in the story, but she was also able to convince people indirectly without them realising. We are almost halfway through the story and the grandmother is still being deceitful. In the next example, the family was involved in a car accident, which was obliquely caused by the grandmother. ”The grandmother was curled up under the dashboard,...

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