Research Project “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

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In this essay I will be talking going over a couple of the stories that we have read together in class. The two stories I chose to go over were O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, and Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”. I chose these stories because I felt like they both have roles where gender does play a major component in their story. In “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” you have the grandma who is manipulative and causes the family to get into a major situation.

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In “A Rose for Emily” you have Miss Emily who is breaking the town’s tradition/rules by not having a husband or kids and also not paying her taxes. On the other hand, I also chose two articles that I found myself that I believe where gender plays a major component in.

In the story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” O’Connor shows how you can never trust anyone, even if it’s your own family member. The Grandma describes herself as a good person, although what she does in the story kind of creates a downfall for all of the family and herself. The bad guy known as the Misfit is described to be a coldblooded killer. Grandma is the main character in the whole story. The grandma is manipulative, and she does not value her life. She tries to convince her family that the way she knows, is the best way to take. The grandma is set on trying to change her family’s destination for their trip by lying about her words to the Tennessee River instead of the family’s original destination of Florida. The grandma leads the family down a dirt road by telling stories of a field she visited when she was younger, but once they’re on the dirt road, bad starts to happen. The family has an accident and drives into a ditch. The Misfit follows behind and eventually kills the whole family leaving the Grandma for last.

Now, the Misfit can easily be described as a man who has had it rough in life just from experiences that he’s had in his lifetime. His past has created this twisted man and his character is seen to be a person killing for their own pleasure. By doing this, the Misfit wants the people he kills to feel the pain that he has had to go through in his life. The Misfit first seems to be confused about his life and religion but then later on in the story, he shows that he knows more about religion than the Grandma does. At the end of the story, the Misfit’s reason for all of this is for him to send all these people to their god.

When the Misfit and the Grandma first got together, it was obvious to tell that the Misfit was the bad person out of the two and the grandma was looked like the good one. But from another perspective, both of their positions can’t be figured out. The grandma in this story is very selfish as you read at the beginning of the story and the Misfit is the convict who gets pleasure from killing innocent people. Both characters bring these traits to the closing of this story. The misfit was out to kill and all along the grandma was too.

William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily” takes place in a little southern town in Mississippi during the 1800s to early 1900s. During the 1800s-1900s many things that are acceptable in todays world were not allowed back in the day. This story is set in an era that is way different from today and the story shows how it is. Faulkner takes Emily’s relationship with the members of the society and homer to show the theme of tradition versus change.

During this story it is clear that Emily represents change, while the townspeople like to do things the traditional way. The difference between the two, shows the effect that societal rules can have on somebody. In the beginning of the story it is said that Miss Emily has been a tradition upon the town. Even when Emily died, she still wasn’t seen as a person who has feelings, just seen as a fallen monument pretty much. Emily’s value and reputation to the town is recognized a lot more than the pain she has encountered as you read on. When Emily’s dad passed away, she was never seen as a grieving person, but the townspeople were quick to point out that she needed to pay her taxes. Late in the story, it is brought up that there was not one young man that was good enough for Miss Emily. This introduces the us to another relationship between Emily and the townspeople, the societal views on women. The era that this story takes place in, expects women to be married and to start working on having kids by their mid 20s. Emily is 30 and without both a husband and kids, going against the town’s tradition. Faulkner uses Emily’s lack of family to show that the tradition is supposed to change. She continues to go against the tradition by having an affair with Homer. It is not until the end of the story that we find out the truth behind Homer and Emily’s relationship. Emily’s anger from Homer’s sexuality leads to the killing of Homer. Who killed her you may ask? Emily herself. She kills Homer and even when he’s dead Emily still lives her life like her and Homer were married. Also, she sleeps with Homer’s dead body until she died herself.

The first article that I found that I believe fits well with my topic is an article about Racism, how it is caused by the color of your skin and also caused by your culture. Racism started to occur around the 1400’s whenever the Europeans began to colonize America. The Europeans wanted to civilize the people and so they started to treat the people who looked different from them and turn them into a slave. Now racism is a part of oppressiveness and it comes from the judgement from a group of people who have the mindset that someone who has an inherited characteristic, like skin color, makes that person low quality. Now a days people only talk about the African-Americans being victims of racism. Although many other races were victims as well such as the Native Americans, Japanese Americans and the Jewish Americans, but which race were the ones known as being a slave? The African-Americans. Many African-Americans brought into America at the start of the 1700’s arrived as a slave. These innocent people were kidnapped from their homes in Africa and sent to their “Owner”. No, slaves weren’t just meant for men. They kidnapped African men, women, and their children and they were all stripped of their identities and were forced to be Christians. These people were whipped, tortured and often hanged by the orders of their master/owner. Even though slavery was outlawed and isn’t allowed in the United States anymore, racism is still alive and well today. Don’t believe me? Go on any social media platform and you are forsure going to find at least one article or video showing how racism is still being used in our world today.

The second and last article I found on my own that relates to the topic in some way is the article I found about sins, but more specifically if Homosexuality a sin. Do I think loving the same gender is a sin? YES. It’s a problem if you worship god because he thinks its unnatural. If you’re not religious, then I don’t think there’s really a problem with loving the same gender. This generation there has been a ton of debate if Homosexuality is a sin and from what I found; it says that it is. God says that homosexuality is an abomination and that it is a big sin against him. God states that any sexual activity without being married is adultery and that goes for heterosexual and homosexual people. God says that any sexual activity is to be between and man and women that is married to each other. Homosexuality goes against God’s plans. What sin means is when someone rejects god and why we are made. Actually, some churches allow Homosexuality and also there is hope for ones who are like this. The article says that God can cleanse a person from any sins he or she has done.

All in all, I chose all of these stories because they all relate to the topic I chose for this paper. In “A Rose for Emily”, Miss Emily was the major component in the story and she we seen has the person who would do whatever she pleases and also broke all the rules and traditions. In “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” the Grandma was the major component in that story because she was the manipulative one who got the family in danger and eventually killed. It was later on in the story where you could tell that the Misfit wasn’t the only person out to kill, the Grandma was too. In the article I found that were about Racism and Sin; the African-American race and the Homosexual people were the major components in those stories. The African-Americans were forced into slavery and some were even killed later on down the line, and racism still lives on today. The Homosexual people think what they’re deciding to do is not a sin, but to God it really is a sin. Good thing that God is forgiving and will cleanse these people of their sins if wanted.

Work Cited

  1. Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing, edited
  2. by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell 9th ed., Cengage 2016, pp. 143-151.
  3. O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting,
  4. Writing, edited by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, 9th ed., Cengage, 2016, pp. 295-309
  5. Outlaw, Greg. “Is Homosexuality A Sin.”, 2002,
  6. Siddiqui, Samana. “A Brief History of Racism in the United States.” A Brief History of Racism in the United States |, 2016,
  7. AuthorLastName, FirstName. Title of the Book Being Referenced. City Name: Name of Publisher, Year. Type of Medium (e.g. Print).
  8. LastName, First, Middle. “”Article Title.”” Journal Title (Year): Pages From – To. Print.”
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Research Project “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”. (2021, Mar 18). Retrieved from