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

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Is a particular cultural movement an important influence on the story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"?

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The particular cultural movement that is important to the plot of the story is the increase in car travel—and especially the family vacation by car—during the 1950s.

During World War II, gas was rationed, so families were not taking car trips. Before that, during the Great Depression, road trips by car were also not widespread: people were often very poor and couldn't afford to take vacations. Further, up until President Eisenhower started a highway program to improve the roads, many were in poor condition. This is still true to some extent in the story, when the family heads off the beaten path, but before that point they seem to be traveling on good, well-paved roadways complete with places to stop and get lunch.

If the grandmother and her family were not part of the cultural desire to take the individual family car trip, they would not have all been in the car together, and they also would not have been isolated when the car flipped over in the ditch, turning a comic family vacation into a nightmare.

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