A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

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Compare and contrast the misfit and grandmother. Do they come to seem more different or more alike over the course of the story? IN what ways?  

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mstultz72 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Since "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is a gothic comedy, the grandmother fits the archetypal Alazon role: a character who thinks she's better than she really is.  The Misfit is a stock grotesque: he's a means to show the grandmother how much of a hypocrite she really is.

O'Connor uses the Misfit to cast off the grandmother's mindset of denying her transcendence.  The grandmother's idealist arguments "you’re a good boy" and "you wouldn’t shoot a lady" are empty attempts to verify a truth for the situation that she wants to be affirmed in him, but that which she knows to be false.  She has had a history of validating herself though the eyes of others, and O'Connor uses the Misfit's grotesqueness as a means of showing her inauthenticity.

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In the story the grandmother is self-centered and thoughtless of others. She is racist, but in light of all this, she still considers herself a lady. The Misfit is a criminal with a tragic upbringing that has left him disillusioned especially in terms...

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