A Good Man Is Hard to Find (short story)

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"A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
A Good Man Is Hard to Find - Cover.jpg
The work's title was taken from the 1918 Eddie Green song that includes the lines "A good man is hard to find / You always get the other kind".[1] (1918 sheet music cover.)
AuthorFlannery O'Connor
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Southern Gothic, short story, dialogue
Published inModern Writing I
Publication typeShort story collection
PublisherAvon
Media typePrint
Publication date1953

"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is a Southern gothic short story first published in 1953 by author Flannery O'Connor who, in her own words, described it as "the story of a family of six which, on its way driving to Florida [from Georgia], gets wiped out by an escaped convict who calls himself the Misfit"."[2]

The story remains the most anthologized and most well-known of all of O'Connor's works[3] even with its enigmatic conclusion that involves a dialogue between a serial killer, tormented by the suffering of mankind and himself for what he considers the injustices in both secular and divine laws, and a superficial, mischievous, morally-flawed, Methodist grandmother dressed as an old fashioned Southern lady. She stumbles into a way that makes The Misfit doubt what he is doing just for the moment before he murders her, and in pity for his torments, she demonstrates in an act of mercy that all good Christian mothers, like God, love all God's children no matter what the children do.

The story is a black comedy in which a serial killer is the only character that understands why a good man is hard to find. As a moral tale with reference to the story's title that is the Eddie Green song, the work addresses infidelity in marriage and religious faith and the power of revival. It is also a moral tale about folly — an avoidable car accident and a self-righteous killer, a former undertaker that preaches apostasy, who demonstrates he knows more than "A Time for Everything", the poem that begins the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3, by alluding to the looming death Qoheleth said comes to all in Ecclesiastes 12:1 — "evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, 'I have no pleasure in them'". The weary mass murderer seems to have enough sense to know he will someday be caught by the Authorities and be executed — an "eye for an eye" that seems to fit, rather than misfit, his own notion of just punishment. The man familiar with Ecclesiastes would know that his rebellion is folly being realized as prophecy written as an aphorism by its author, who claimed to be King Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 10:8:

"He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall."

Publication history[edit]

"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" was first published in 1953 in the multi-author short story anthology Modern Writing I published by Avon.[4][5] The story appears in her own collection of short stories A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories published in 1955 by Harcourt.[6] In 1960, it was included in the anthology The House of Fiction, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, and later included in numerous other short story collections.

An anagogical vision for a total picture[edit]

"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is an example of the author's "anagogical vision" aimed to express realities, beyond symbolism, to convey the meanings of her work. For example, the sun is more than a symbol of God, it is God as a character that is never directly seen in the dispirited world of the story. As another example, a large part of the total meaning of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is its relationships with the New Testament story of Jesus and the Rich Young Man and the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes from dramatic, comedic, moral, and theological perspectives.

In her essay, "The Nature and Aim of Fiction", O'Conner described her goals for writing fiction. The essay is useful for helping readers understand how to approach and interpret her works. One of her major goals in writing was to construct elements of her fiction so they can be interpreted anagogically — her "anagogical vision":

"The kind of vision the fiction writer needs to have, or to develop, in order to increase the meaning of his story is called anagogical vision, and that is the kind of vision that is able to see different levels of reality in one image or one situation. The medieval commentators on Scripture found three kinds of meaning in the literal level of the sacred text: one they called allegorical, in which one fact pointed to another; one they called tropological, or moral, which had to do with what should be done; and one they called anagogical, which had to do with the Divine life and our participation in it. Although this was a method applied to exegesis, it was also an attitude toward all of creation, and a way of reading nature... ."[7]

Peter M. Chandler, Jr., summarized O'Connor's vision for readers — that all of the interpretations of her work are rooted in its literal sense: "...[F]or O'Connor, the literal in some sense already "contains" the figurative. Far from being a level of meaning superadded to the literal sense, the 'spiritual sense' is already inherent in any attempt to render something artistically. 'A good story,' she wrote, 'is literal in the same sense a child's drawing is literal.'"[8] In other words, O'Connor understood that her anagogical vision is a challenge to readers because they must not only understand the literal story but also associate the literal with their knowledge or experience. Consequently, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is enriched beyond its literal narrative when the literal can be related to biblical, Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Southern society and its history, and other subjects.

The literal sense of the story's title and The Misfit's complaint, "If He [Jesus] did what He said, then it's nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him" both appear in a more constructive context in the New Testament story of Jesus and the Rich Young Man suggest searches for the deeper meanings of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" might start there. At readings O'Connor offered suggestions about her intent at the literal level, such as for a 1963 reading at a Southern college with a highly respected creative writing program — Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia:

"I don't have any pretensions to being an Aeschylus or Sophocles and providing you in this story with a cathartic experience out of your mythic background, though this story I'm going to read certainly calls up a good deal of the South's mythic background, and it should elicit from you a degree of pity and terror, even though its way of being serious is a comic one. I do think, though, that like the Greeks you should know what is going to happen in this story so that any element of suspense in it will be transferred from its surface to its interior."[9]

Epigraph[edit]

An example of the effect of O'Connor's anagogical vision is an epigraph she wrote for "A Good Man Is Hard to Find". The epigraph was published only for the paperback Three by Flannery O'Connor that also included her two novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, that first appeared in September 1964,[10] a month after her death, and eleven years after the short story was first published. The epigraph was probably included in compliance with her wishes upon her death.[11] The epigraph reads:

"'The dragon is by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the father of souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.' — St. Cyril of Jerusalem."[12]

The literal sense of the epigraph is the impression it has on readers unacquainted with Cyril of Jerusalem's Procatechesis from which O'Connor extracted it. As the story opens with a family's plan to drive to Florida for a vacation and is warned about a criminally-violent escaped prison convict heading in the same direction, the epigraph foreshadows the possibility of the family's encounter with life-threatening violence since going to "the father of souls" alludes to death. When the reader encounters The Misfit, the convict appears to be the figurative dragon, a symbol for evil and danger.

For readers acquainted with Procatechesis and the introduction of the boy, John Wesley, named for the Methodist theologian, the dragon represents one's own moral proclivities that can derail the baptized Christian's lifetime efforts toward achieving salvation after death. To these readers, the epigraph leaves the impression that the story is a tale about Christian characters, including The Misfit, about the moral choices made within and prior to the story's events that affect their prospect for salvation. The story only serves to focus on a highlight on a path toward salvation. With respect to St. Cyril's dragon in the tropological (moral) sense and The Misfit in the literal sense, when the reader encounters The Misfit, a gospel singer turned killer, he is a character already devoured by St. Cyril's dragon given his communications with God and rejection of Jesus as savior. The grandmother's murder is her destruction by The Misfit as a metaphorical dragon in the literal sense, but tropologically, she performs a redemptive act at her end that allows her to pass by St. Cyril's dragon. O'Connor's rewording of the item in Procatechesis can be viewed as her effort to introduce literal and tropological realities that can coexist concurrently throughout her story.

O'Connor used the epigraph to close her essay "The Fiction Writer and His Country" that was published in 1957 in the book The Living Novel: A Symposium, a book of statements by novelists on their art,[13] where she followed the epigraph with the closing sentence: "No matter what form the dragon may take, it is of this mysterious passage past him, or his jaws, that stories of any depth will always be concerned to tell, and this being the case, it requires considerable courage at any time, in any place, not to turn away from the story teller."[14] The statement indicates how O'Connor wanted her works read and for the reader to look for the dragon in her short story collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories that includes at least nine of its ten stories about original sin.[15]

Plot[edit]

Bailey, the head of an Atlanta household, prepares to take his family on a vacation to Florida. His mother (known only as "the grandmother" throughout the story) warns Bailey that a convict called The Misfit has escaped from prison and is heading towards Florida. She suggests a trip to East Tennessee instead; a proposal Bailey ignores. Her grandson, John Wesley, comments that his grandmother could stay in Atlanta; her granddaughter, June Star, rudely says “she wouldn't stay at home to be queen for a day;” and her infant grandchild is tended to by her daughter-in-law. When they leave the next morning, the grandmother occupies the backseat of the family's car, dressed so that if she is killed in an accident, she can be recognized as a Southern "lady." She hides the family's cat, Pitty Sing, in a basket between her legs, not wanting to leave it home alone.

While traveling, the grandmother points out scenery in Georgia. Her grandchildren respond by berating both Georgia and Tennessee, and the grandmother reminds them that in her day, “children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else." She delights in seeing a naked black child waving from a shack, finding the image quaint. The grandmother later sees a graveyard which was once part of a plantation that she jokingly says has "Gone with the Wind". She tells her three grandchildren that when she was a "maiden lady," she had been "courted" by a man who, as an early owner of Coca Cola stock, died wealthy.

The family stops for barbeque at The Tower Restaurant after passing a series of billboards proclaiming the restaurant and food as "famous" and the proprietor, Red Sammy Butts, as "the fat boy with the happy laugh." On arrival, the family finds that the place is somewhat rundown. Red Sammy easily charms the grandmother, but is rather scornful of his wife, a mistrustful waitress who worries about being robbed by The Misfit. The grandmother promptly declares Red Sammy "a good man," and the two reminisce about better times while lamenting the decay of values.

Later that afternoon, the family continues on in the car before the grandmother falsely remembers a plantation being in the area, only realizing her mistake after Bailey takes a turn, at her instruction, down a rocky dirt road surrounded by wilderness. The pang of this error causes her to disturb the cat, who leaps onto Bailey, who loses control of the car, and the automobile flips over into a ditch. No one is seriously hurt, but the accident is witnessed by a party of three strange men-- one of whom the grandmother recognizes as The Misfit. She announces this, and consequently, The Misfit has his men lead Bailey, the children's mother, and the children off into the woods where they are shot and killed. The grandmother confusedly pleads for her life, beseeching The Misfit to find solace by praying to Jesus Christ; who The Misfit blames for his troubles and the dismal state of the world.

Finally, upon seeing The Misfit's face twisted with despair, the grandmother, in a moment of clarity, reaches out and takes him by the shoulder, gently claiming him as "one of her babies." Just then, The Misfit shoots her to death. When his companions return, The Misfit says that the grandmother "would've been a good woman if it were someone there to shoot her every minute of her life," and seems to conclude that violence affords "no real pleasure in life."

Characters[edit]

  • Bailey's mother is the protagonist of the story, a woman who seems content with a comfortable life surrounded by her son and grandchildren. The narrator refers to her as "grandmother" when at least one grandchild is alive, "old lady" when her grandchildren are dead, and a "young lady" as she recalls a plantation home near her native Tennessee home. The central conflict of the story is between the grandmother and The Misfit, her killer, in a dialogue that occurs while Bailey, his wife and children are shot in the woods not far from the two characters.
  • Bailey's nameless wife and nameless infant: Bailey's wife is a nearly speechless woman described as a "young woman" having a face that was "as broad and innocent as a cabbage". She is not identified by name, only as "the children's mother". In the story's narration, she is solely occupied with caring for her baby that suggests it is her first one. Like her husband, she does little to discipline her children. In the car accident, she is thrown out of the car and breaks her shoulder.
  • John Wesley and June Star: Bailey's older children are John Wesley and June Star, aged eight and seven, respectively, two brats — rowdy and disrespectful. Their self-centeredness is so extreme that they are never aware that their mother, thrown out of the moving car during the accident, has a broken shoulder. They have learned to manipulate their parents by screaming and yelling at them, behavior the grandmother has learned to initiate.
  • Red Sammy Buttes, who enters into a dialogue with the grandmother that Evans characterizes as a "festival of clichés" where "[e]very single one of his opening phrases is a commonplace platitude" that does, however, reveal his character as competitive, suspicious of others, and self-justifying. [16] The dialogue is between a two people who find each other likeable because they enjoy complaining together.
  • The wife of the fat owner of The Tower is a "a tall burnt-brown woman with hair and eyes lighter than her skin" who works as a waitress. Red Sammy directs his wife as if she was any ordinary waitress, preventing her to enter into sociable chat with Baily's family.
  • Hiram and Bobby Lee: Hiram and Bobby Lee are convicts who escaped prison with The Misfit. The two kill Bailey, his wife and children, and on the murder of the grandmother by The Misfit, Bobby Lee suggests to The Misfit that killing her was enjoyable.

Themes[edit]

Anguish, mercy, charity, divine grace, and imitation of God[edit]

The author's intent[edit]

In a 1960 response to a letter from novelist John Hawkes, Flannery O'Connor explained the significance of divine grace in Catholic theology in contrast to Protestant theology, and in doing so, explained the offers of grace made to the grandmother and The Misfit at the climax of the story immediately after the already agitated Misfit explained his anguish caused by not being able to witness whether or not Jesus is savior and that it was by faith alone that the decided Jesus is not savior:

"Cutting yourself off from Grace is a very decided matter, required a real choice, act of will, and affecting the very ground of the soul. The Misfit is touched by the Grace that comes through the old lady when she recognizes him as her child, as she has been touched by the Grace that comes through him in his particular suffering."[17]

Both the superficial grandmother and the heretic The Misfit have cut themselves off from opportunities to receive divine grace prior to the story. The deprivation of religion and church life from a Southern lady's social life is devastating and the absence of religion in the story's narrative by an author concerned with spiritual life suggests that the grandmother lost an argument with Bailey about church-going and participation in a church community that the grandmother resented and regarded as a deprivation. At the story's climax, The Misfit, while wearing Bailey's shirt, is in anguish just after he explains the suffering he has witnessed and felt in his own life, alludes to his judgment that much of the suffering, including death for original sin, is undeserved and, to the extent it is undeserved is a form of oppression that he can end by killing the victims of oppression. The Misfit's anguish "clears for an instant" the grandmother's head, as she recalls the argument she had and lost with Bailey about the relevance of God and church-going, and takes the opportunity to try to win the same argument with her killer by imitating God himself (e.g., "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." in 1 John 4:16) in an act of mercy that also demonstrates Christian charity (e.g., the love for others as one loves God): "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children." The point is emphasized by the grandmother's posture in death is a likeness of the dead body of Jesus on the cross.

As for The Misfit, O'Connor explained that the opportunity of grace is offered to him by the grandmother's touching him, an act she calls a gesture:

"Her [the grandmother's] head clears for an instant and she realizes, even in her limited way, that she is responsible for the man before her and joined to him by ties of kinship which have their roots deep in the mystery she has been merely prattling about so far. And at this point, she does the right thing, she makes the right gesture."[18]

O'Connor's reference to the "mystery" the grandmother prattled about is the incarnation of Jesus as savior as the means for people to be absolved for their sins in order to be eternally joined with God, and in that context, "kinship" refers to all people in that they are descendants of Adam and Eve who committed the sin that would forever separate humans from God and brought death upon humanity as a punishment for the original sin. O'Connor further clarified that the grandmother's actions were selfless: "... the grandmother is not in the least concerned with God but reaches out to touch the Misfit".[19]

In her letter to John Hawkes, O'Connor explained that The Misfit did not accept the offer of grace in her story but that the grandmother's gesture did change him:

"His [The Misfit's] shooting her is a recoil, a horror at her humanness, but after he has done it and cleaned his glasses, the Grace has worked in him and he pronounces his judgment: she would have been a good woman if he had been there every moment of her life."[17]

Criticism[edit]

The grandmother's gesture toward The Misfit has been criticized as an unreasonable action by a character often perceived as intellectually, or morally, or spiritually incapable of doing it. For example, Stephen C. Bandy wrote in 1996, thirty-two years after the author's death:

"... if one reads the story without prejudice, there would seem to be little here to inspire hope for redemption of any of its characters. No wishful search for evidence of grace or for epiphanies of salvation, by author or reader, can soften the harsh truth of 'A Good Man Is Hard To Find.' Its message is profoundly pessimistic and in fact subversive to the doctrines of grace and charity, despite heroic efforts to disguise that fact."[20]

In addition, some critics like James Mellard resent O'Connor's efforts to explain the story to fill-in the narrative they expected to underlie the story's climax:

"O'Connor simply tells her readers — either through narrative interventions or be extra-textual exhortations — how they are to interpret her work."[21]

O'Connor's rebuttal was that such readers and critics have underestimated the grandmother. As indicated in her letters, lectures, readings, and essays, O'Connor felt compelled to explain the story and the gesture years after publication, for example, as "Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable", the title of her notes for a 1962 reading at Hollins College in Virginia.[22] O'Connor believed one understandable reason for the criticism is that the concept of grace she used is unique to a Roman Catholic perspective, as she clarified the point to John Hawkes in a letter:

"In the Protestant view, I think Grace and nature don't have much to do with each other. The old lady, because of her hypocrisy and humanness and banality couldn't be a medium for Grace. In the sense that I see things the other way, I'm a Catholic writer."[23]

By mentioning "nature", O'Connor refers to her anagogical vision, which she addresses the grandmother's spiritual life which has been enlivened by the threat to her life. She wrote in her reading notes:

"The action or gesture I'm talking about would have to be on the anagogical level, that is, the level which has to do with the Divine life and our participation in it. It would be a gesture that transcended any neat allegory that might have been intended or any pat moral categories a reader could make. It would be a gesture which somehow made contact with mystery."[24]

Robert C. Evans observed:

"As its very title already suggests, 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find' (like much of O'Connor's fiction) is very much concerned with satirizing stale and clichéd uses of language. The characters who use clichés ... are all characters who tend to speak (and, more importantly, to think) in highly conventional and unoriginal ways. When O'Connor's characters mouth clichés ... that is a sign that they have ceased to think for themselves, if in fact they ever possessed any original thoughts to begin with."[25]

Compared to the superficiality of the family that engages itself in comic books, television quiz shows (e.g., "Queen for a Day"), movies, and the newspaper's sport section, an original thought, often a dark truth like Red Sammy Butt's wife saying nobody on earth can be trusted "And I don't count nobody out of that, no nobody" looking at her husband, has both comic and dramatic effects on the reader. Evans noted, "A major purpose of the story will be to shake most of the characters, ... as well as O'Connor's readers, out of [a] kind of smug complacency."[26]

Adaptations[edit]

A film adaptation of the short story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", entitled Black Hearts Bleed Red, was made in 1992 by New York filmmaker Jeri Cain Rossi. The film stars noted New York artist Joe Coleman,[27] but according to reviewers the film does not depict the story well.[citation needed]

The American folk musician Sufjan Stevens adapted the story into a song going by the same title. It appears on his 2004 album Seven Swans. The song is written in the first-person from the point of view of The Misfit.

In May 2017, Deadline Hollywood reported that director John McNaughton would make a feature film adaptation of the story starring Michael Rooker, from a screenplay by Benedict Fitzgerald.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Curley, Edwin (November 1991). "A Good Man Is Hard to Find". Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. 65 (3): 29–30. JSTOR 3130141.
  2. ^ O'Connor, Flannery (2012) [1963]. "On Her Own Work". In Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert (eds.). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  3. ^ Frank, Connie Ann (2008). Critical Companion to Flannery O'Connor. Facts on File. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-8160-6417-5.
  4. ^ Frank, Connie Ann (2008). Critical Companion to Flannery O'Connor. Facts on File. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-8160-6417-5.
  5. ^ O'Connor, Flannery (1971). "Notes". The Complete Stories. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  6. ^ Frank, Connie Ann (2008). Critical Companion to Flannery O'Connor. Facts on File. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-8160-6417-5.
  7. ^ O'Connor, Flannery (2012) [composition date unknown]. "The Nature and Aim of Fiction". In Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert (eds.). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  8. ^ Candler, Peter M. "The Anagogical Imagination of Flannery O'Connor". Christianity and Literature. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 60 (Autumn 2010): 15. JSTOR 44315148.
  9. ^ O'Connor, Flannery (2012) [1963]. "On Her Own Work". In Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert (eds.). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  10. ^ "Three by Flannery O'Connor". Google Books. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  11. ^ Michaels, J. Ramsey (2013). "Her Wayward Readers". Passing by the Dragon: The Biblical Tales of Flannery O'Connor. Cascade Books. ISBN 978-1-62032-223-9.
  12. ^ Michaels, J. Ramsey (2013). "Her Wayward Readers". Passing by the Dragon: The Biblical Tales of Flannery O'Connor. Cascade Books. ISBN 978-1-62032-223-9.
  13. ^ Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert, eds. (2012). "Notes". Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  14. ^ Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert, eds. (2012) [1957]. "The Fiction Writer and His Country"". Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  15. ^ Michaels, J. Ramsey (2013). "Her Wayward Readers". Passing by the Dragon: The Biblical Tales of Flannery O'Connor. Cascade Books. ISBN 978-1-62032-223-9.
  16. ^ Evans 2010, p. 141.
  17. ^ a b O'Connor 1979, p. 389.
  18. ^ O'Connor, Flannery (2012) [1963]. "On Her Own Work". In Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert (eds.). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  19. ^ O'Connor 1979, p. 379.
  20. ^ Bandy, Stephen (1996), 'One of my Babies': The Misfit and the Grandmother, Studies in Short Fiction, pp. 107–117, archived from the original on January 4, 2012
  21. ^ Bandy, Stephen (1996), 'One of my Babies': The Misfit and the Grandmother, Studies in Short Fiction, pp. 107–117, archived from the original on January 4, 2012
  22. ^ O'Connor, Flannery (2012) [1963]. "On Her Own Work". In Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert (eds.). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  23. ^ O'Connor 1979, pp. 389–390.
  24. ^ O'Connor, Flannery (2012) [1963]. "On Her Own Work". In Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert (eds.). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.
  25. ^ Evans 2010, p. 140.
  26. ^ Evans 2010, p. 142.
  27. ^ "UbuWeb Film & Video: Jeri Cain Rossi". Ubu.com. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  28. ^ N'Duka, Amanda. "Michael Rooker Reteams With His 'Henry' Director On 'A Good Man Is Hard To Find'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 January 2019.

Works cited[edit]

"Ecclesiastes". The Holy Bible. English Standard Version.

Bandy, Stephen (1996), 'One of my Babies': The Misfit and the Grandmother, Studies in Short Fiction, pp. 107–117, archived from the original on January 4, 2012

Bartholomew, Craig (May 1999). "Qoheleth in the Canon?! Current Trends in the Interpretation of Ecclesiastes". Themelios. 24 (3): 4–20.

Evans, Robert C. (2010). "Clichés, Superficial Story-Telling, and the Dark Humor of Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find'". In Bloom, Harold; Hobby, Blake (eds.). Bloom's Literary Themes: Dark Humor. Infobase Publishing. pp. 139–148. ISBN 9781438131023.

Giannone, Richard (2008). "Making It in Darkness". Flannery O'Connor Review. The Board of Regents of the Georgia College and State University System. 6: 103–118. JSTOR 26671141.

Green, Eddie (1918). "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" (PDF). Wikimedia Commons. Pace Handy Music Company.

O'Connor, Flannery (2012). Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert (eds.). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466829046.

O'Connor, Flannery (1979). Fitzgerald, Sally (ed.). The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9780374521042.

External links[edit]