Pros:Brilliantly written with a magnificent plot. Another wonderfully disturbing story from one of the greatest writers in history.
Cons:Some people don't like O'Connor's "surprise" ending. Of course they just need to be smacked, it's all brilliant.
Flannery O'Connor is an absolutely mind boggling author. Her works are written with such beauty, skill, and brilliant plots that it is impossible to be blown away. Of course the off track nature of her stories help, and A Good Man Is Hard To Find is no exception.
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The beginning of the story is a wonderful depiction of a family preparing for a trip, even if it's not the most wonderfully functioning family. With the reclusive father, boisterous and ill-mannered children, and controlling mother this family can be easily associated with by most people, since they either grew up in a family similar to this or have friends who did.
O'Connor does a wonderful job of developing these characters quickly and letting us know who they are, how they act, and what they expect from the trip. Of course the reader has no idea what to expect from the trip.
Well, as the title explains, the trip does have to do with finding a "good man". Although that may not be the reason for the trip, it is our reason for seeing the trip. The thing is that O'Connor can't show anything the way another writer might do it.
Along the trip the reader is introduced to several different men, including the father. Each and every character is pointed out as being flawed. Whether the characters admit it or not it is clear that there are no perfect men.
Of course O'Connor has to make her attempt at showing a perfect man. In one of the most brilliant and ironic situations she does just that. I wouldn't dare tell you how she does it, or what this man is like, but he has all the attributes of a perfect man, and a few extra attributes as well.
As with all, or nearly all, of O'Connor's writing A Good Man Is Hard To Find is quite disturbing. She loves to set up the audience for a sweet and calm boat ride, but throws in some class five rapids to blow everybody away. Some people don't like this: they hate being surprised (if you manage to guess the ending to this novel by the first few pages and don't have any help: I'll give you a cookie).
Most people, on the other hand, love these endings. The fact that you really can't guess where O'Connor is going to take you makes reading her works all the more wonderful. A Good Man is one of these amazing trips where the reader has no idea of the destination but will get an absolutely breath taking view of humanity as the trip goes along.
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