Essay Questions For A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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When Bailey fails to respond to her pressure, the grandmother attempts to get her daughter-in-law, a dull young woman with a face "as broad and innocent as a cabbage," to help her convince Bailey to go to Tennessee rather than Florida because the children, John Wesley and June Star, have not yet visited Tennessee.She indulges in back-seat driving, acts as a tour guide, and attempts — by citing the conduct of children in her time — to chastise John Wesley and June Star for their rude remarks concerning "their native states and their parents and everything else." Her fraudulent propriety is immediately undercut, however, when she calls the children's attention to a "cute little pickaninny" (a black child) standing in the door of a shack they are passing.When June Star observes the child's lack of britches, the grandmother explains that "little niggers in the country don't have the things we do." As the children return to their comic books, we are given a number of life-versus-death images which prepare us' for the coming catastrophe.The grandmother's vanity and self-centered attitude are made apparent in the first three lines of the story.Rather than acquiesce to the family's plan for a trip to Florida, she wishes to visit some of her "connections" in east Tennessee.There seems to be reason, however, to suspect that the scene was created with more than surface details in mind.In an address to a group of writing students, O'Connor commented, "The kind of vision the fiction writer needs to have, or to develop, in order to increase the meaning of his story is called anagogical vision, and that is the kind of vision that is able to see different levels of reality in one image or situation." On one level, then, The Tower may be seen as the biblical Tower where the sons of Adam had their tongues confused "that they may not understand one another's speech." On another level, The Tower functions as a low-class greasy spoon, where the characters attempt to display their "good manners" in order to conceal their lack of concern for their fellow man.The Misfit, the pathological killer who murders an entire family in this story, was apparently fabricated from newspaper accounts of two criminals who had terrorized the Atlanta area in the early 1950s; Red Sammy Butts, according to another critic, may have been based on a local "good ole boy" who had made good and returned to Milledgeville each year, on the occasion of his birthday, to attend a banquet in his honor, hosted by the local merchants.O'Connor's treatment of the characters in this story reinforces her view of man as a fallen creature.The events which lead to that climax, however, generate much of the interest of the story.The reader's first view of the family is one designed to illustrate the disrespect and dissension which characterize the family's relationships with one another.


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