Free Journal Review Essay Sample
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To begin with, the short story "A good man is hard to find" is a story about a family trip to Florida a suggestion that is not welcomed by the grandmother who is interested to go to Tennessee. Although finally her ideas to go to Tennessee rather are turned down, she works hard to change the mind of the son, Bailey and warns him of taking the children to Florida whereby there was a criminal she knew who had been released.
As a matter of fact, the name of the grandmother is not given and thus she might be the outsider. At one point, she says "Oh look at the cute little pickaninny!" referring to a Negro who stood in the door of a shack. The grandmother then says 'Little riggers in the country don't have things like we do'. From this point of view, the grandmother has a racist attitude in that she does not value the blacks. The Negro boy in this case is the outsider owing to the fact that he was not of the country. On the other hand, the grandmother who has not been given a name is an outsider in the sense that what she portrays herself to be, she isn't really. When the word outsider is used in any context, brings about the aspect of being a foreigner, a stranger or in simple terms unknown. In line with this, the Misfit is a stranger and unknown to Bailey and the rest of the family save for the grandmother who knows him. The Misfit is an outsider whom the society does not wish to be identified with, yet with the grandmother, she calls Misfit her son. This is a point that unites the grandmother with the Stranger Misfit whom she treated as an outsider in the beginning. This makes the grandmother an outsider and unknown.
In line with this, the Red Sam and the grandmother seem to have the most polite conversation ever in the story and thus they get along as if they had been friends long ago. When they are talking about the two fellows whom Sam gave then to charge the gas, the grandmother tells Sam that he is a good man. In this context, the grandmother is an outsider identifying with the stranger Sam. Outstandingly, the grandmother though presented as a saint, her actions are selfish and manipulative. In this sense, it is the manipulative and selfish outsider residing in the grandmother who finally leads to the death of the whole family inclusive of the grandmother herself. Remarkably, there is the unknown outsider in the heart of the grandmother who manipulates the whole family, starting with the children when she tells them of a secret panel. It is evident that except for the misleading outsider residing in the grandmother, there would not have been any accident and the family would not have died. Therefore, the grandmother is an outsider due to her strange actions and as such, she identified and gets along with the outsider Misfit.