O'Connor and Olson

Flannery O'Connor

As with many other works we were assigned this semester, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is one of the works I have read a time or two before. I have never really liked the story very much and I still don’t care for the message conveyed within it. I do, however, agree completely with the grandmother and the title; a good man is really hard to find no matter what era of time you look at. Men have always been shallow, cold hearted, human beings but every once in a while there is a handful of them who are actually worth our time and are truly good men. I am so incredibly thankful that I have found one of those few good men and I hope that every woman on earth would stumble upon the same luck that sent me Chris.
I did not like, nor have I ever liked, the grandmother in this story; she is so self centered and stupid. I mean most grandmothers will annoy the crap out of you and talk as if they know everything but this woman takes the cake. First of all, she should have owned up to her mistake when she realized the house she was looking for was in fact in Tennessee not where they were. Secondly, she should never have let “the Misfit” know that she knew who he was; if she had she and her family might still be alive. The third thing that bothered me about her was the fact that she did not care to plead for the lives of her son and his family. She just talked and talked to save her own sorry hide but in the end it was her talking that got her killed; but that’s what she gets for being so self centered. i did, however, agree with one thing the grandmother wanted in the story, I would much rather go to Tennessee instead of Florida.

Tillie Olson

This was a very sobering story and as sad as it is, I really liked it. Much of this story reminds me of myself as a girl and some of it reminds me of my sister. My sister was a sickly child and my parents babied her for her whole life, even after I came along. Amber was five years old when I was born and the difference between us was soon obvious. She was small and thin and struggled with her health and her school life. I was strong and healthy and independent and I did well in school; these differences were the catalyst for the unhappiness in my childhood. Even though I was younger, I was left to fend for myself when they were coddling Amber and for the longest time I even took care of her; I cooked for us and protected us and stood up to the bullies at school for her. These events, coupled with the excessive moving due to military life, made my childhood difficult. As a preteen I was clinically depressed and often wondered if I would be missed if I just went away; this continued up through high school and I was very close to being institutionalized. The doctors I saw seemed to think that my mother was the key to figuring out what my problems were but my problems were so much deeper than just my mother and I still struggle with a few of them today. It is almost scary how much this story seemed to echo my life even if the main character was more like my sister than me. It is interesting to think about what the mother says at the end; “Emily will not fulfill all of her potential - perhaps no one does - but she is likely to fulfill some of it, and that will be enough.” The mother only asks one thing for her daughter; that she will know and find ways to help her understand that she is more than someone who must merely "fit in" or be helpless before the forces of life. I believe that everyone should want that in their life as well as their children’s lives.

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