What type of sentence structure does Flannery O'Connor use to affect the pacing of "A Good Man Is Hard To Find?"

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this short story, Flannery O'Connor uses the simple or compound sentence with subject-verb-object construction almost exclusively. (Compound sentences join two simple sentences together with a conjunction such as "and" or "but.") Many of her sentences start with the word "he" or "she." This gives the story a trudging pace that feels like one is soldiering on with each sentence. Very little lyrical quality adorns the sentence structure. Most sentences are short and to the point. They do not meander, weave, or explore the intricacies of ideas. Rather, they state actions, thoughts, and ideas in a straightforward, businesslike fashion. Since the story is written primarily from the grandmother's point of view, the pacing reinforces the type of woman she is. She is one who does not overthink things; indeed, she acts on impulse and seems to think about consequences later, and even then she is reluctant to admit a mistake. So the pace of the sentence structure that keeps forging ahead without slowing down reflects the grandmother's personality that unfortunately keeps propelling herself and her family to its inevitable doom.

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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