A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery OConnor

The structure of the short stories are both very vague. however, each story does set up a quick background story about each protagonist within the first couple of paragraphs. While there is no set or definite introduction to the stories, there are conclusions that are pretty basic: both protagonists end up in a situation that either causes them death or injury. The structures are otherwise linear, as the stories are told from beginning to end. Neither story sidetracks from the concrete plot, nor do they explore other ideas or thoughts as the protagonists experience different things. There are seldom flashbacks or any other device that is used to pull the story from its beginning-to-end track.
The developing of the two plots are very similar to each other. Each story starts off with certain expectations or ideas that have been set down by the protagonists. The grandmother is concerned with going elsewhere on vacation, and Connie is preoccupied with her appearance. Each of these aspects brings about positive events for both of the characters, yet they gradually, throughout the story, develop into horrific situations. The grandmother becomes excited about recognizing a plantation that she had visited in the past, only to end up murdered by the person that she had used as a reason for the family to go elsewhere for their vacation. Connie uses her appearance to hook up with boys at a burger restaurant, which results in her being physically harmed and taken by an older man, a stranger, who claims that she is his lover. Both short story plots slowly decline in happiness and contentedness as the stories go on, eventually ending in terrible situations for both of the main characters, both of whom believed that their actions could not produce negative ramifications.
The theme of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is that of the idea behind a “good man”. All throughout the story, the grandmother refers back to the Misfit, using him as an example as to why a good man is hard to find. While she is trying to convince him that he is too good of a man to take the lives of her children, her grandchildren and herself, he agrees with her. However, he ends up killing all of them, saving the grandmother for last. Although he claims that he is a good man, just misled, he does something that says otherwise. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, the theme is confusing reality and fantasy. Connie believes that what she wants is to be noticed and be appreciated by boys, yet she does not realize the damage that this could cause her – which is caused by the story’s end. She attracts the attention of a man, which leads to her being harmed and taken from her home. While the themes of the short stories differ from each other, they both come down to irony. Each protagonist expects one thing, yet receives something entirely different.