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Free Study Guide-A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O'Connor-Free
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A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND

THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN

CHARACTERS

Mr. Shiflet

A man with one arm, youngish, but of indeterminate age. He claims to be hardworking, and wants to be nice, but is also shifty and a liar. He is a flatterer, and tries to not tell any direct lies.

Lucynell Crater (the elder)

An older woman who has a place far out in the country, which she owns free and clear. She takes care of her daughter, and is anxious to have a man around the place, to do some work. She adores her daughter.


Lucynell Crater (the younger)

The younger Lucynell is mentally retarded and deaf. She is near thirty, but acts like a very young child. She is trusting, and not really able to watch out for herself.

CONFLICT

Will Mrs. Crater get Mr. Shiftlet to live on her place as young Lucynell's husband? Will Mr. Shiftlet gets what he wants?

Protagonist and Antagonist

The Lucynell's are in need of a hand, and Mr. Shiftlet, despite missing an arm, looks good. Mr. Shiftlet says all the right things, but is holding something back.

Climax

Mr. Shiftlet convinces Mrs. Crater that he must take Lucynell on a real honeymoon, in Mrs. Crater's car he has fixed up. They do get married, and drive away, but he dumps Lucynell at a roadside cafe, pretending she was only a hitchhiker.

Outcome

Feeling guilty, Mr. Shiftlet picks up a young hitchhiker and proceeds to lecture him on how wonderful mothers are. The kid eventually tells him to shut up, and when he doesn't the kid jumps out of the car--while it is still moving. Feeling the rottenness of the world overtake him, Mr. Shiftlet races on into Mobile.

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