29 October 2013
Marxist Criticism of O'Connor's “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the protagonist, the grandmother, is concerned with being viewed as a lady. The grandmother's not-so-subtle manipulative comments, her critical remarks along with her selfish personality show that outlook throughout the story which can be related to the way that the industrial owners manipulated politicians as well as the stock market having the power to critically alter outcomes by remarks made. A Marxist critic would notice that the grandmother's idea of being recognized as a lady is more about wanting to be recognized as an upper-class socialite.
The manipulative actions of the grandmother are comparable to the leaders of the monopolies in the Industrial Revolution in America. In the beginning of the story the grandmother speaks to Bailey trying to convince him to take the family somewhere that she would much rather go, Tennessee, to visit her connections instead of the vacation to Florida. She says, “I wouldn't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscience if I did” [O’Connor 224]. She uses the news of the Misfit, murderer as a scare-tactic to urge Bailey to change destinations. Once that approach did not get any reaction the grandmother looks toward her daughter-in-law and continues with “You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change... They never have been to east Tennessee” . Her grandchildren, June Star and John Wesley, were the only ones to acknowledge her, disrespectfully, in back-and-forth dialogue between the two children. The grandmother’s attempt at changing the vacation plans had failed, much like the industry owners that had manipulated the presidential election of 1896 in hopes to save their empires. America was quickly connecting physically via railroads; unfortunately the industry leaders that boomed in this era divided the country economically....