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

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What elements give the story its "gothic" quality?

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Gothic qualities are those we associate with things we normally repress, particularly our awareness of death. The Gothic often has an eerie, unreal, dream-like (or nightmare-like) quality: what we experience in Gothic literature are situations out of the ordinary—strange situations where horror is usually unveiled. The Gothic is also associated with the unheimlich, the German word for unhomelike or unfamiliar: Gothic occurs when the familiar is made suddenly strange or eerie, as in a haunted house, which is both familiar as a house and unfamiliar as a frightening and creepy environment.

Most of the Gothic qualities in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" occur after the car flips into the ditch and the family has its encounter with the Misfit and his gang. Up until this point, it seems to be simply another zany, comic tale about difficult-but-ultimately-ordinary family members going on a car...

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