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Thread: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

  1. #1
    figuring it all out AnthonyDavid11's Avatar
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    A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

    Has anyone read this? I checked it out a few days ago. Man, it goes from somewhat humorous and kind of National Lampoons' vacation feeling to much crazier and darker. I wonder if it's all supposed to be real. I can see where it would be. I can also see where maybe it was meant to show something about the grandmother character as well. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    I just re-read a different story by the same author ("Everything That Rises Must Converge"), because I mentioned Flannery O' Conner in another thread. She tended to write dark. "A Good Man is Hard to Find" was the one about the family on vacation that encounters a serial killer, right? It's been many years since I read it, but if I remember correctly, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" was deconstructing the basic "Feel Good" approach to storytelling, where decency and an appeal to someone's better nature overcomes any adversity and narrative justice is served. I also remember that the family in question was rather unpleasant. She was good at portraying unpleasant protagonists faced with even more unpleasant circumstances.

    She was a devout Catholic living in the mostly-fundamentalist Protestant South. As I understand it, this had a huge effect on her world view. She died very young, at 39 (in the early 60s). I can't help wondering how her writing and philosophy might have evolved if she'd lived a fuller lifespan.

    I've often wondered if the person who originally penned the story that was the nucleus for the movie Vacation (it was originally a short in National Lampoon Magazine) had read this story back in school or something. Though the National Lampoon version was much cruder and was obviously aimed at anti-social teenaged boys.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 07-28-2017 at 06:56 AM.
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  3. #3
    blue eyed floozy shakeysix's Avatar
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    "She'd a been a good woman if there had been someone there to shoot her every minute of her life." --the misfit

    My favorite line from one of my favorite short stories. I studied quite a few classes on American Regionalists. O'Connor was featured in several of them. I like her stuff because it is funny. On top of being damned dark. --s6
    Last edited by shakeysix; 07-28-2017 at 07:46 AM. Reason: subbed minute for day in the quote. I had misremembered it, as being every day of her life.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
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    Flannery O'Connor was a great wordsmith, who I think didn't live long enough to really find her apex of ability. But she is, in many ways, unique, and reading her work is a plus for any aspiring writer.

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    Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

    -- Terry Pratchett

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    Yeah, I loved that short story, especially the Misfit's line "She'd be a good woman if there had been someone there to shoot her every minute of her life."

    Of course, being a perv, I wonder if some did a porn or erotica titled "A Hard Man is Good to Find."

  6. #6
    figuring it all out xanaphia's Avatar
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    I am such a big Flannery fangirl. She is my favorite southern gothic writer.

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  7. #7
    blue eyed floozy shakeysix's Avatar
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    Back in my twenties I bought my brother a novelty birthday gift, a pair of black, slinky, briefs that were all the fad back in the seventies. These had sequins and "A hard man is good to find" embroidered in red across the front. All good fun except that his birthday is close enough to Christmas that he held on to the present to open under the tree, with the family as witnesses: 3 pre-school nieces and our devoutly Catholic parents. I still remember my dad asking "what do those drawers say?" --s6
    Last edited by shakeysix; 07-30-2017 at 07:46 AM.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    I prefer "A Hard Man Is Good To Find" by Rosie O'Grady.
    Rosie was a laundress at a U. S. Cavalry Fort in the Old West in the late 1800s. Tough lady. There was a ditty about her, "The Colonel's Lady and Rosie O'Grady are sisters under the skin." Remember that the Colonel's Lady was the Queen Bee a those sad, neglected Army outposts which boasted few "fine" ladies..

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