In “A Good Guy Is Difficult to Find”, O’Connor seems to recommend that only through conflicts can the “excellent” in individuals be found. The way that the granny appears to dwell in the past suggests that she thinks that it would’ve been simpler to find a “good” male a very long time ago. To the grandma, trying to find goodness today would prove to be extremely difficult and perhaps even ineffective. Through the use of significance, foreshadowing, and metaphors, O’Connor develops the story’s theme.
Throughout this story, the grandmother has a hard time to find what the definition of “great” is. The granny uses a hat to reveal others that she is a woman. Nevertheless, this hat is likewise a sign for her silly ethical code. When the granny gets ready for the automobile journey with the household, she gowns up in collars and cuffs to show she is a girl “In case of a mishap” (12 ). The granny acts as if she is entirely undisturbed with the truth that she would be dead in this scenario and stays unconcerned that her child, daughter-in-law, and 3 grandchildren would have likewise perhaps died.
The grandma, nevertheless, just appreciates her appearance as a woman. This ridiculous concern demonstrates how self-centered she really is and how delicate her ethical conviction is. This symbol further develops when the household becomes, in truth, associated with an automobile accident. The granny’s hat falls apart, much like her ethical conviction, and after she continued to stare at it, she eventually “let it fall on the ground.”( 96) Once she is thrown from the cars and truck and her family is face-to-face with the Misfit, the brim of the grandmother’s hat then falls off. Her appearance as a girl melts as the damaged hat falls.
Not only does O’Connor utilize symbols in this story, however also foreshadowing. O’Connor’s usage of foreshadowing tends to idea the reader in on future events. The grandmother expresses in the beginning of the story how she does not want to go to Florida with the remainder of the family. While she disapproves, the grandma does actually go to Florida. O’Connor utilizes the voice of the granddaughter for this foreshadowing event when the daughter states, “She has to go everywhere we go”( 7 ). This declaration can be a foreshadowing of the ending of the story. The family is eventually involved in a vehicle accident and end up having an encounter with The Misfit and his 2 fans. After the household is led into the woods a couple of at a time to be killed, the granny is the only one left dealing with The Misfit. The daughter’s previous declaration that the granny should go wherever they go, foreshadows that the grandmother will not walk away from this encounter.
The grandmother will be eliminated likewise so that she can opt for her family. Another foreshadowing event happens when the family attends a supper and fulfills Red Sammy. Red Sammy tells the family about 2 strangers who took gas from him not too long ago: “‘2 fellers come in here recently,’ Red Sammy stated, ‘driving a Chrysler'”( 36 ). This declaration foreshadows that The Misfit might cross courses with the household driving a vehicle that is parallel to the one that the two men had when they stole gas from Red Sammy. O’Connor’s usage of foreshadowing deliberately explains the plot of the story. She wanted the reader to understand exactly what was going to happen. This could have been because she just did not think the plot was very important. The “good” in people is the heart of this story.
By the end of the story, the only person who seems to be “excellent” is the grandma through her dispute with The Misfit. The Misfit states -at the end of the story- that the grandmother would’ve been a great lady if just there had actually been someone there to shoot her “every minute of her life” (140 ). This quotation reveals that The Misfit has actually simply discovered the modification that has gone through the grandmother in her last final minutes. He realizes initially that despite the fact that the grandma holds herself really high and claims to be a girl, she is not a good woman. Even though she is very old, The Misfit understands that her age does not permit her behavior and in no way does she should have any unique treatment. However, The Misfit does identify that the grandma has the capability to be a great woman when she is face-to-face with death. The high ground she had actually placed herself on slowly disintegrates as she accepts the common humanity between herself and The Misfit: “‘Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!'” (136) The Misfit senses this shift in the grandmother’s ethics and comprehends that if she might’ve lived every minute of her life at gunpoint, she might’ve accepted the compassion and common humanity that she required.
Using metaphors, foreshadowing, and symbolism, O’Connor depicts that the “great” in individuals can only be discovered through struggle and conflict. It was not up until the end of the story that the granny actually became her definition of “excellent”. She had aimed her entire life to be a girl and to discover the good in others, but it constantly appeared too hard for her at times. All the while, she had actually neglected searching for the “excellent” herself. In the last couple of moments of her life she became thoughtful, understanding, and caring or-in other words-“great”. Just through her struggle with her emanate death did she find the “excellent” in herself.