Old Vs New South, Paper Based On Flannery O'conner's Book A Good Man Is Hard To Find.

1233 words - 5 pages

Paper based on Flannery O'Conner's book A Good Man is Hard to Find -Old vs New SouthIn Flannery O'Connor's stories, 'A Good Man is Hard to Find' and 'Good Country People,' a change from the old south to the new south is quite evident. O'Connor uses these stories to show the differences between the old and new south and to voice her disapproval as to what the south was becoming. What upset O'Connor about the new south can be shown by carefully examining and interpreting these stories.In the story 'A Good Man is Hard to Find', O'Connor uses many different characters as representatives of different generations in the same family and uses these generations as examples of the change from the old to the new south. O'Connor uses the main character of the grandmother to represent what the south once was. One of the characteristics of the old south that the grandmother displays, is the need to keep herself looking like a lady. For instance, O'Connor writes:Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady. (O'Connor 11)By giving the grandmother the great need to be dressed like a lady, O'Connor makes this character a throwback to a time of white gloves, flowered hats, and women always wearing dresses. Situations like this firmly place the grandmother in a very old south role.Contrary to the role of the grandmother, O'Connor uses the person she recognizes as the children's mother to show what the south was becoming:Bailey didn't look up from his reading so she wheeled around then and faced the children's mother, a young woman in slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like rabbit's ears. (O'Connor 9)The main characteristics of the new south are shown in the dress of the children's mother. A lady of the old south would never wear slacks and tie her hair up in a head-kerchief and go out in public. Under an old south mentality these actions would be considered very unlady like. O'Connor reveals her own dissatisfaction for this new south character in the way that she describes the children's mother. First, O'Connor only refers to her as the children's mother, by not giving this character a name O'Connor shows some amount of contempt for her. Second, O'Connor uses the description of a cabbage and a rabbit when describing the children's mother. The use of such unflattering terms is another way that O'Connor shows contempt for the new south. Finally, the tone of the language that O'Connor uses when talking about the children's mother must be examined. For example, the grandmother 'wheeled' around to face the children's mother. The use of the verb 'wheeled' connotates a negative meaning in the way that the grandmother looked at the children's mother. O'Connor makes it sound...

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