Flannery O'Connor's Stories

Tempus Fugit: A Different View of Southern Hospitality

In Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," a lively family embarks on a trip fueled by foreboding images. Masterfully, O'Connor displays a crisp slice of Southern life. However, this picture of 1950s pastoral America is tainted with numerous sinister descriptions. An accident befalls the family of six on a back road as they head through rural Georgia. Their lives forever changed by the accident, the family feels the sting of change. At the same time, American society was also undergoing an alteration. The characters are pitted against an America embarking upon progressive policies, with social status giving birth to new class structures. Therefore, O'Connor's main concern is with the icon of the ordinary American. She proves that inordinate darkness hides behind the countenance of apple pie and baseball. Through the foreshadowing images and characters in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," O'Connor creates a powerful commentary concerning the dark qualities of America's changing South.

A close examination of the work reveals that the family's journey is doomed from the genesis. One of O'Connor's stronger forewarning images is demonstrated when the grandmother wears...

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