In Flannary O’Conners “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, Flannary uses the setting to hint to the reader the devastating outcome of the story. The author uses many different clues and characteristics to hint to the reader that the family may be in trouble or heading towards death. Flannary’s first hint comes when, “They passed a large cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a small island”(383). What makes this passage interesting is the fact that there are six people traveling in the car; Flannary uses six graves as a way to hint to the reader that the family may end up in graves as well.
Furthermore, the reader notices that the family, “stopped at The Tower for barbecue sandwiches” and “Inside, The Tower was a long dark room… ” (384). The author is trying to hint to the reader that Red Sammy’s is a gloomy, dull, empty, and neglected diner. June Star shows this by saying, “I wouldn’t live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks! ” (384). The gloomy atmosphere of the diner paints a sinister picture in the readers mind. Furthermore, the Grandmother remembers of an old plantation that she once visited in a town of Toombsboro.
Flannary uses the word “toomb” to suggest death or a casket. After the family goes into the ditch Flannary uses the ditch and the woods to illustrate an image of a cemetery for the reader. She does this when she writes, “The road was about ten feet above and they could see only the tops of the trees on the other side of it. Behind the ditch they were sitting in there were more woods, and tall and dark and deep” (387). She uses the ten feet as an illustration that the family may be in a grave.
Furthermore, Flannary goes into vivid details when she talks about the trees she considers them to be “tall, dark, deep” suggesting that this is where the family might be taken and murdered. As the reader continues on he or she may notice that, “Behind them the line of woods gaped like a dark open mouth” (388). What Flannary is trying to suggest here is that the family is headed into the woods to be consumed or killed by “The Misfits” accomplices. Before the family’s death the reader notices that the killings take place during the night as Flannary writes, “There was not a cloud in the sky nor any sun” (391).
Flannary O’Connor used the setting of the short story, “A Good Man is Hard To Find” to unfold, or illustrate the events of the plot. She uses many different environments to lead, or hint, to the reader that the family is heading towards death. She does this by using gloomy, dark, and sinister words and key phrases to lead the reader to the stories conclusion. Work Cited O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Ed Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. 381-392. Print. Characteristic Characters
In Alice Walker’s, “Everyday Use” she uses two distinct and unique characters to show the reader how Dee is a static and flat character, while mother is defined as a round and dynamic character. Dee is a flat and static character because she was not changed much by the conflict of the story. On the other hand, Dee’s mother was changed significantly at the end of the story when Dee tried to take the family’s quilts and other possessions with her. A static character is defined as, “a character that will remain unchanged regardless of the nature of the story’s conflict” (220).
Dee is a great example of this type of character because throughout the story Dee does not seem to care much about her heritage, culture, and family. We notice this because Dee decides to change her name to “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo”. The reader learns that Dee’s name was given to her after her aunt “Dicie” (454). Furthermore, Dee does not take this into consideration and goes behind her family’s back and changes her name. This comes off as an offense to the family’s culture and heritage, but Dee does not seem to care.
Furthermore, Dee continues to offend her mother by rummaging through her home and tries to take sentimental items such as hand made quilts. Despite what Dee’s mother says to her, Dee will remain an unchanged character, she will continue to be a selfish and rude person regardless of whether it offends the family or not. Dee is also considered to be a flat character, “barely developed or stereotypical” (219). Dee’s view about her heritage, culture, and family did not change throughout the story. She criticized and stereotypes her heritage at the end of the story by telling her mother that her mother doesn’t understand her own heritage (457).
She criticizes her mother and sister by saying, “You out to try to make something of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it” (457). A round character is, “well devolved, closely involved in and responsive to the action” (219). Mother is a great example of this type of character because as the story goes on she notices how Dee has not changed and will never change her perspective about her heritage, culture, and family. At the end of the story mother becomes upset with Dee’s actions and decided to do something about it.
It seems as thought mother has always let Dee walk all over her and tell her otherwise up until the end of the story. Mother stands up for herself and her daughter Maggie when Dee tries to take the quilts from her home. The reader notices this when mother says, “I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands and dumped them into Maggie’s lap” (457). Mother changes and notices that she can stand up for herself and her family.
She notices that her daughter Maggie deserves the quilts much more than Dee because Maggie is respectful to her culture and has used her lessons she had learn from “… Grandma Dee and Big Dee who taught her how to quilt herself” (457). Furthermore, mother is also considered to be a dynamic character that, “grows and changed in the course of the story, developing as he or she reacts to evens and to other characters” (220). The reader notices that mother changes at the end of the story when she says, “When I looked at her like that something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet.
Just like when I’m in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout” (457). Dee’s actions have caused her to wake up and stand up for herself and Maggie. She realized that Maggie is a much better representation of the family’s culture and heritage and she deserves the quilts much more than Dee. Alice Walker does a great job to represent Dee as a static and flat character, while her mother is represented as a round and dynamic character. Dee is considered a static and flat because her actions and feelings do not change thought the story.
She continues to be disrespectful to her family, culture, and heritage and does not seem to care weather it offends her family or not. On the other hand, mother is considered a round and dynamic character because her actions and feelings do change at the end of the story. She becomes fed up with Dee’s actions and comments and decided to stand up for herself, her family, and her daughter in an effort to show the reader that Maggie is a much better representation of heritage and culture unlike her sister Dee.