Humor in A Good Man is Hard to Find

Humor in A Good Man is Hard to Find
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Affiliation A Good Man is hard to find Introduction In the story “a good man is hard to find”, O’Connor reveals the family as irritating with intensive use of humor. She adroitly presents them without any form of bias or additional comment and instead, she allows the readers to truly see the characters for who they really are, without further exposures or cover ups. Her depiction of the family is neither flattery nor condemning. She however, just illustrate their thoughts and actions. The move allows the readers to decide for themselves as well as judge every character as they fit. Some activities carried out by some of the characters appear humorous which ensures the audiences or readers need for more in reading the story. O’Connor use of humor in the story helps reflect on human nature’s peculiarity and small-mindedness, which makes one wonder whether the story could have had its vitality if it lacked humor.

A Good Man is Hard to Find Analysis

From the beginning of the story up until the end, the author has used humor, which helps keep the readers fixated and entertained altogether. For instance, at the beginning the things that grandmother does, although they on the other hand reveal her self-centeredness, they are quite amusing and helps introduce the story in a more luring manner than otherwise. Flannery O’Connor formulates humor through characterization as she portrays amusing characters with regional languages and funny physical appearances. For example, Bailey’s wife is illustrated as having face “broad and innocent as a cabbage, tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like a rabbit’s ears.” (O’Connor; Asals, p.118). In addition, the author flippantly mocks some of her Southern characters such as the small girl whose name was June Star as well as the man that grandmother should have married, Mr. Teagarden (E.A.T). O’Connor reveals a black boy confusing Mr. Teagarden’s initials for directions as he tried reading them from a watermelon (Di, p.135).

Another example where O’Conner uses humor is with the owner of Sammys Famous Barbecue. The owner is entirely amusing, particularly, with his khaki trousers that sit low on his hips with his stomach hanging over them and his monkey in the chinaberry tree. The author describes his stomach as “like a sack of meal swaying under his shirt.” (O’Connor, 98) OConnors representation of his approach of speech is basically comical, as he sits down at a table close to the grandmothers family and releases “a combination sigh and yodel.”  In addition, his regional vocabulary is also funny, for example when red Sam said “yes’m, I suppose so,” as though he was hit with the answer. The author maintain humor as she proceeds with making fun of characters such as June Star who impolitely tell Red Sam’s wife something and is met with a response many would deem it better fit for compliment towards a cute child as she says, “would you like to come be my little girl?” To reply to that, June Star said “no I certainly wouldn’t. I wouldn’t live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks!” (O’Connor, 112), before running back to the table.
Moreover, June Star seems not to lose her unbeaten attitude even after being faced by the Misfit and his friends.  She snaps back at them, asking, “What are you telling US what to do for?” and when Hiram is asked to hold her hand and escort her, she retorts, “I dont want to hold hands with him….He reminds me of a pig.” (Bloom; Harold; Hobby, p.140) Both the Misfit and his two men are depicted to be funny in their looks as one is described as a fat boy in black pants and a red sweat shirt which had a silver stallion imprinted on its front. The man is further illustrated as having a loose grin when he moved around on the family’s right side and stood gazing with his mouth slightly opened. The other man is depicted as wearing a blue stripped coat, khaki trousers, and a gray hat that was pulled down very low, hiding his face. The description of the driver is also comical as he is said to be older than the other men as his hair looked like it had started to gray and wore silver-rimmed spectacles that gave him a learned look. The author also uses a sense of dark humor especially when grandmother addresses the Misfit and his crew as her own “Why youre one of my babies. Youre one of my own children!” (Bloom; Harold; Hobby, p.139). Lastly, O’Connor blends humor with terror particularly when describing grandmother’s dismay cry when her son is shot. He says she cries while lifting her head like a parched old turkey hen as she wailed “Bailey Boy, Bailey Boy!” (Bloom; Harold; Hobby, p.139).


O’Connor has done the book justice as she has used various themes appropriately. The use of humor, however, I consider it to be the most well used as it has helped the readers rid f themselves boredom and lack of interest as some stories does. The humor’s realism also makes the readers visualize the expressions of characters as they speak out the words or hear them which make it even more interesting. Therefore, the use of humor played a major role in the entire setting and without it; the story would have appeared plain and not interesting.

Works cited
Bloom, Harold, and Blake Hobby. Dark Humor. New York: Blooms Literary Criticism, 2010.
Di, Renzo A. American Gargoyles: Flannery Oconnor and the Medieval Grotesque.
Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1995. Print. Bottom of Form
Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1993. Print.