What are the language choices and style that the author uses in the opening of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"?

Expert Answers
Douglas Horley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The opening to "A Good Man is Hard to Find" contains a lighthearted narrative style, suggesting to the reader that the story may simply revolve around the mutual antagonisms in an extended family.

The use of dialogue immediately helps the reader gain insight into the character of the grandmother and grandchildren, and also the nature of their relationship (rather antagonistic). The colloquial language used by those characters such as "aloose" and "dontcha" also gives us some idea of their social class.

Through figurative language, the mother is portrayed as a benign almost comical figure - "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 a rabbit's ears." (p. 117).

The grandmother's shrill warnings of a criminal on the loose (The Misfit), foreshadows a later encounter in the story which dramatically changes the tone and mood of the narrative.


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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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