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

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What is the grotesque element of "A Good Man is Hard To Find"?

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In her 1960 essay, "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction," O'Connor defines the literary grotesque as follows:

In these grotesque works, we find that the writer has made alive some experience which we are not accustomed to observe every day, or which the ordinary man may never experience in his ordinary life.

In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the experience we are not accustomed to observing in every day life is the encounter with a mass murderer and his gang. We are also not used to hearing gunfire in the distance that means a gang is murdering an ordinary family, including two children, nor are we used to seeing a man coldly shoot and kill an old woman.

This murderous encounter is both extraordinary and repellent. O'Connor highlights its strangeness by creating a scenario that is entirely ordinary up until the moment the car flips over and the family is confronted by the Misfit and his gang. Before that, the reader simply confronts a 1950s nuclear family and their grandmother...

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