Houston Community College A Good Man Is Hard to Find Analysis Paper

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Humanities

Houston Community College System

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Choose any of the works in this module and describe the "act" of travel in as much detail as possible. Why is the travel being undertaken? What are the outcomes?

Post 2 (150-200 words)

Choose a character or speaker from one of the pieces in this module, and analyze them. . . what motivates them? Do they evolve over the course of the piece? Why or why not? Is there anything else worth saying about the character you've chosen?

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Fiction LitWeb Workshop: Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” wwnorton.com/litweb © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Flannery O’Connor (1925–64) © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 2 Excerpt, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” “It was a head-doctor at the penitentiary said what I had done was kill my daddy but I know that for a lie. My daddy died in nineteen ought nineteen of the epidemic flu and I never had a thing to do with it. He was buried in the Mount Hopewell Baptist churchyard and you can go there and see for yourself.” “If you would pray,” the old lady said, “Jesus would help you.” (par. 117) © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 3 Questions for Discussion • How would you describe Bailey, John Wesley, and June Star? In what ways do they seem to confirm the grandmother’s belief that manners and morals are in decline and that “people are certainly not nice like they used to be”? • How does the grandmother react when she sees a black child on the road? What is her response to the child’s poverty? • How does the story blend comedy and horror? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 4 Questions for Discussion • Does the story offer a discernible point of view on what constitutes “goodness”? • What is the significance of the grandmother’s frequent references to plantation houses? • What does the grandmother mean when she says The Misfit is “one of [her] own children”? How do you understand the shift in The Misfit’s proclamations—first, that there is “no pleasure but meanness” and finally, in the last line of the story, “it’s no real pleasure in life”? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 5 Group Activity & Write-Up • In small groups, brainstorm some alternate titles for this story. Share the results with the class. Do your titles reflect a particular tone (e.g. comic, horror)? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 6 Suggestions for Writing • O’Connor provided her own analysis of this story, insisting that the grandmother achieved grace and redemption in the final moments of her life: “The grandmother is at last alone, facing The Misfit. Her 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.” Offer an alternative reading of the story in which you consider other ways of interpreting the grandmother’s spirituality, particularly her final moments. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 7 THE NORTON INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE Kelly J. Mays For more learning resources, visit the StudySpace: http://wwnorton.com/litweb © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 8 Fiction The Author’s Work: Sherman Alexie’s “Flight Patterns” © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Sherman Alexie (b. 1966) © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 2 Flight Patterns • “Sir, forgive me for saying this,” the taxi driver said, “but you do not look like the Red Indians I have seen before.” “I know,” William said. “People usually think I’m a longhaired Mexican.” “What do you say to them when they think such a thing?” (60). © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 3 Questions for Discussion • How do the themes of family and selfpurpose conflict for Fekadu? • How does Alexie infuse his ordinary characters with extraordinary traits? • In what ways does William transcend the stereotype of a Native American male? What thoughts does he have on feminism, diversity, and class distinctions? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 4 Questions for Discussion • What types of discrimination or stereotyping does William endure and what is his reaction to it? How does he view those outside his race? • What is the significance of the title “Flight Patterns”? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 5 Group Activity and Write-Up • Both William and Fekadu survived traumatic incidents, yet William doubts Fekadu’s stories about piloting aircraft against his own people during the Ethiopian civil war. Do you believe that William’s experience of 9/11 is plausible? In groups, share an incident when you told a story that wasn’t believed by others—what elements of your storytelling may have led to others denying its truthfulness? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 6 Suggestions for Writing • Alexie has explained that humor is a “weapon of selfdefense,” and that people are more willing to listen to a story when humor is integrated. Where do you see humorous elements in “Flight Patterns”? Find three examples, and explain what makes them humorous: Does humor protect the writer by masking his pain? Does it help relieve anxiety? Do you recognize an uncanny relationship between the narrator’s experiences and your own, which makes you laugh nervously? We think of humor as having a positive and healing effect; but, based on the examples you found, do you believe that humor originates from something positive or negative within us? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 7 Suggestions for Writing • The narrator describes capitalism’s effect on the world, particularly in relation to gender in the workplace, on consumer habits, and on what he calls “tribes” or communities formed through the workplace or spending behaviors. Cite at least two examples of capitalist trends and William’s critique of them. Does the narrator view capitalism as beneficial to the modern world, and do you agree with his view? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 8 THE NORTON INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE Kelly J. Mays For more learning resources, visit the StudySpace: http://wwnorton.com/litweb © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 9
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Running Head: DISCUSS AND ANALYZE

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The story A Good Man Is Hard to Find revolves around a traveling family. The
Grandmother expresses her preference for traveling to Tennessee than Flo...


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