Susan L. Barlow
Professor Erin Leach
28 September 2012
A Love Story
After reading “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, one has to ask the underlying question of whether this is a story of a mother and son’s love, or is it about one family’s demise because of a broken relationship existing between a mother and a son? Upon further analysis of this short story, it is easy to see that the relationship between mother and son is a key element in the tragic ending of an entire family. Throughout the story the mother son relationship connection is continually brought to the reader’s attention through underlying communications. O’Connor paints a story of a domineering mother and a weak son, but the love that connects them is apparent in the story as they are the only members of the family that actually seem to have an emotional link.
In the opening line of the O’Connor story, the focus is placed on the mother’s selfishness and her determination to control her son Bailey. O’Connor sets the stage with a pattern of the mother’s continual nagging of her much loved son. Love can take several forms, and although she continues to nag throughout the story, it is apparent that this was her way of expressing affection. When she produces a newspaper urging her son to change the family’s vacation plan because of a recent prison break, we are led to believe that this is due to her selfishness. Looking beneath these words we see the mother truly has concern and cares deeply for her son. Throughout the story the mother continues to nag pressing for her own way in every situation. Her later request to get the family to divert their trip to see the old plantation is one example. The son does not respond directly to his mother’s demands for this side trip but the description of his silence and non-verbal communications indicate how the relationship between the two has evolved over the years. The mother continues to want to be in charge of the son’s actions, as if he...