Flannery O' Connor Study Questions
A Good Man is Hard to Find
1. How do the grandmother's concerns about the trip to Florida foreshadow events in the story?
2. Describe the grandmother. How does OConnor make her the central character?
3. How does O' Connor portray the family? What is comic about them? What qualities about them are we to take seriously? Do you think they are responsible for what happens to them/ Does your attitude toward them remain constant during the course of the story?
4. Characterize The Misfit. What makes him so? Can he be written off as simply insane? How does the grandmother respond to him?
5. Why does The Misfit say that "Jesus thrown everything off balance?" What does religion have to do with the violent action of this story?
6. What does The Misfit mean when he says about the grandmother that "she would of been a good woman . . . if it had been somebody to shoot her every minute of her life?"
7. How is coincidence used to advance the plot? How do coincidences lead to ironies in the story?
Good Country People
1. Why is it significant that Mrs. Hopewell's daughter has two names? How do the other characters' names serve to characterize them?
2. Identify the conflict in the story. How is it resolved?
3. What is the effect of O'Connor's use of the phrase Good Country People throughout the story? Why is it an appropriate title? Explain.
4. The Bible salesman's final words to Hulga are "You ain't so smart. I been believing in nothing ever since I was born!" What religious values are expressed in the story.
5. Hulga's perspective on life is ironic, but she is also the subject of O'Connor's irony. Explain how O'Connor uses irony to reveal Hulga's character.
6. This story would be different if told from Hulga's point of view. Describe how the use of a limited omniscient narrator contributes to the story's effects.
7. Comment on Hulga's conviction that intelligence and education are incompatible with religious faith.