Essay ENGL!#) - Jorge Ponce ENGL130 Prof Seufert How does...

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Jorge Ponce ENGL130 Prof Seufert 3/3/2016 How does irony play a part in A Good Man is Hard to Find? Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” heavily relies on the use of irony in order to convey its message. Irony in this case is defined when words, actions, and thoughts are actually the opposite of what the characters intended. The title of the short story is where we first encounter the use of this literary element. Although, we do not realize the impact of this until the conclusion. Knowing how the story ends lets us interpret the title as a good man is hard to find, but it’s rather easy to find a bad one. The grandmother herself is the main charac- ter who propels the story forward, and is by far the most ironic character in the story. Her actions lead the family to their inevitable demise at the hands of the Misfit, and along the way certain ac- tions and phrases she says and does turn out to be ironic once we know the ending of the story. The title itself opens up the heavy use of irony in this story, although it is not realized un- til the conclusion of the story. Once the readers is aware of the family’s meeting with the misfit, it is apparent just how easy it is to find a “bad man.” The grandmother had stated that she wouldn’t want to go to Florida because of the chance that they might run into this dangerous criminal, the Misfit. The family ends up in this very same criminal’s path out of the hundreds of thousands of people that could have otherwise stopped for help. Flannery O’Connor seems to mold the grandmother’s character solely using this literary device. All of her words and actions are the very reasons that lead to the family’s chance en- counter. The use of irony with the grandmother is absolutely necessary to the plot and allows for
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a type of foreshadowing at times. The other characters in the family are not as influential to the story, but interestingly enough, most of them are mentioned by name. Almost all the members in
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