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Analysis Of A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay


The morning of the trip the grandmother is the first one in the car ready to travel as June Star predicted she would be, "She wouldnt stay at home for a million bucks. She has to go everywhere we go" (OConner 345). This can be read as a direct foreshadowing of the grandmothers death. As one reads the story, one wonders why every time Bobby Lee and Hiram take someone into the forest, they never come back. Eventually, the whole family is taken to die. June Stars comment that the grandmother goes everywhere the family goes can be read as an indication that she will meet the same end that they did.

Furthermore, although the grandmother did not want to go to Florida, she ironically dresses in her Sunday best. Knowing the definite ending of the story, the grandmothers elaborate dress symbolizes a preparation for her coffin. When a person dies, they usually are dressed in their best outfit, just like the grandmother was dressed in what seemed to be her Sunday best. A stronger foreshadowing is when OConnor states the reason for the grandmothers immaculate dress, "in case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." She herself predicts her own death. Unfortunately, she doesnt know this yet. Although this is beyond the story, it is interesting, that in the grandmother's mind, wearing her best clothes prevent any misgivings about her status as a lady if she was to die. But as the Misfit later points out, "there never was a body that gave the undertaker a tip." The grandmother's perceived readiness for death is a stark contrast to her behavior when she encounters the Misfit; for she shows herself to be the least prepared for death.

As the trip progresses, the children reveal themselves as funny, spoiled brats. O'Connor's desire to illustrate the lost respect for the family and elders among the young is quite apparent in her illustrations of the children. One evidently notices another foreshadowing image when the family "passed by a cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a small island" (OConner 347). It is not an accident that the number of graves "five or six" matches the exact number of people in the car. There are 5 people and a baby. Since a baby is not exactly a full complete person, the obsceneness of the number of graves being "five or six" is appropriate.

Additionally, another foreshadowing image is shown in the Misfit and the grandmothers conversation towards the end. He says "Does it seem right to you, lady, that one is punished a heap and another aint punished at all?" (OConner 355). As readers, we can see that the Misfit will kill the grandmother. After all she "aint punished" for her crimes of hypocrisy, self-centeredness and lying. As shown later on in the essay, the Misfit plays God and inflicts punishment

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