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Explication of Theme in Flannery O’connor’s

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Essay title: Explication of Theme in Flannery O’connor’s

In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” a family of six set out on a vacation to Florida while an extremely dangerous criminal is on the loose. The family takes the grandmother, who is outraged that the family is traveling while The Misfit is scanning the countryside. Throughout the short story, O’Connor drops many hints to the reader, ultimately leading to the terrifying climax. Foreshadowing is more commonly noticed the second time a story is read as opposed to the first. Readers will pick up on the hints that foreshadow the events to come. Foreshadowing is used when grandmother mentions The Misfit in the opening paragraph, when grandmother dresses formally in case of an accident, and when the graves are noticed in the cottonfield.

Foreshadowing is first used when grandmother tells the family about The Misfit when discussing the vacation destination. “‘Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose.’” (393). O’Connor throws the idea of The Misfit up in the air for the reader to grasp. “aloose from the Federal Pen and headed towards Florida,” suggests that the family may in fact have a run-in with The Misfit while in Florida. O’Connor leaves the audience with the feeling that the criminal is dangerous and commits unspeakable crimes. “‘you read here what it says he did to these people... I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose.’”

Another instance where foreshadowing is noticed takes place when grandmother dresses in one of her nicest outfits while the family is traveling. “Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.” (394). Grandmother’s actions suggest that an accident will happen later in the story. “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway” suggests that the results of this accident could be fatal for grandmother or even worse, the entire family.

The

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