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Discussion Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. In your opinion, was The Misfit born bad, or did the unfair punishment he was subjected to shape the person he became?
Ans: I think that The Misfit’s unfair punishment subjected to shape the person he became. It made him angry that he was accused for something he didn’t do, that he let the anger become a part of him.
Q.2. In the context of the text, why do people do bad things? Can the characters and their actions in this story be categorized as either good or bad? Why does the Misfit do what he does? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: People do bad things to get their revenge or to get their point across. I have seen in different books and sometimes in school, someone do something bad to someone else to show them the pain they may have gone through.
I think the Misfit does what he does because he’s angry about what happened to him, so he takes it off onto other people.
I think the characters and their actions were good except for The Misfit and his group. The other characters, such as the grandmother, were simply scared and trying to help the Misfit understand.
Q.3. In the context of the text, how do people face death? Consider the different characters of “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” as well as other characters in literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: I think that people face death through grief. In the story, every time the family heard gunshots, they broke down into tears and became weak. In some real life examples, people face death through grief and by pushing through the hard time.
Q.4. In the context of the text, how does fear drive action? How does fear drive the grandmother’s choices throughout the story? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: The fear the grandmother was experiencing was making her desperate for mercy. She started to beg The Misfit to not kill her and was crying out for her son.
In paragraph 130, the grandmother says to The Misfit, “Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I got!” When she says that she will give him all the money she’s got, it shows a sign of
desperation. She shows that she’ll give him everything she has so that she can live.
Q.5. In the context of the text, can we control our fate? Is the family in control of what happens to them? How does the text comment on who is ultimately in control? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: I think we are and are not in control of our fate. We can make decisions that can help change it, but sometimes it depends on someone else’s decisions for what our fate is. In the story, the family was in control of what happened to them. They tried helping by talking to The Misfit but the Misfit was the one who got to decide what happened.
Assessment Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. PART A: Which of the following best identifies a theme of the text?
Ans: It is important to present a certain image to the world.
Q.2. PART B: Which section best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. The Misfit sprang back as if a snake had bitten him and shot her three times through the chest.”
Q.3. PART A: What does paragraph 45 reveal about the grandmother’s character?
Ans: The grandmother has a bad relationship with her son.
Q.4. PART B: Which quote from paragraph 45 best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “‘There was a secret panel in this house,’ she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were”
Q.5. PART A: Which of the following best explains the relationship the grandmother has with her son?
Ans: strained because they are very different
Q.6. PART B: Which passage from the text best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind. Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy.” (Paragraph 1)
Q.7. How does describing the grandmother as “a parched old turkey crying for water” in paragraph 132 contribute to her characterization?
Ans: It emphasizes the grandmother’s desperation in the situation.
Q.8. How does O’Connor use foreshadowing to contribute to the story’s meaning? Explain at least two examples of foreshadowing and how they develop the theme of the story.
Ans: Flannery O’Connor uses foreshadowing in her stories to hint at future events and to develop the themes of her work. Two examples of this can be seen in her story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”
Firstly, the grandmother’s insistence on visiting the old plantation, despite being told it’s in a different state, foreshadows the family’s eventual doom. This insistence on living in the past and ignoring the reality of the present contributes to the story’s theme of the destructive nature of nostalgia and denial.
Secondly, the Misfit’s escape from prison, mentioned in the beginning of the story, foreshadows the family’s violent encounter with him. This event develops the theme of the story that evil can strike at any time, and that one’s moral character is truly revealed in times of crisis.
Q.9. How does O’Connor use figurative language to develop the tone of the story? Explain at least three examples of figurative language and how they develop the tone of the story.
Ans: O Connor’s language during this story drives the reader to investigate it stylistically, since there are several words, phrases, sentences, and utterances, that are associated with some rhetorical terms, like figurative language, puns, creativity, rhetorical deviation, and wordplay.
In this story, the use of figurative language is based on the comparison, the use of simile and personification makes the reader excited.
The three examples used in the story are :
“I’d smack his face,” John Wesley said.
“Tennessee is just a hillbilly dumping ground,” John Wesley said, “and Georgia is a lousy state too.”
“My daddy said I was a different breed of dog from my brothers and sisters.”
Q.10. How do the grandmother’s attempts to reason with The Misfit evolve throughout their exchange, and how does this connect to the themes of the text?
Ans: The grandmother kept trying to talk some sense into The Misfit that he is truly actually a good man. But, the more she talked, the worse things got and the more desperate she got. She based her thought of him being a good man by his appearance. By that, she tried reasoning with him, causing things to get much worse.
Throughout their exchange, the grandmother’s attempts to reason with The Misfit evolve from a naive belief that she can convince him to be a good man to a desperate plea for her own life. Initially, she tries to appeal to his sense of morality by insisting that he is a good person deep down. She believes that by emphasizing his appearance and manners, she can convince him to spare her and her family.
However, as The Misfit continues to challenge her beliefs and question the existence of true goodness, the grandmother becomes more desperate and fearful. She realizes that her attempts to reason with him are futile and that her own life is in danger.
This evolution of the grandmother’s attempts to reason with The Misfit highlights the theme of the story, which explores the complexities of human nature and the inability to fully understand or control the actions of others. It also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of making assumptions based solely on appearances.
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In CommonLit, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is one of the students’ favorite lessons composed by Flannery O’Connor for grade 12 students.
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Hi, I’m Annie Smith, and I’ve been a teacher for over 5 years and have taught students at all levels. I love to help students get ahead of their exams and provide helpful guides on various topics.