In this lesson, students will explore these dichotomies—and challenge them—while closely reading and analyzing "A Good Man is Hard to Find." In the course of studying this particular O'Connor short story, students will learn as well about the 1950s South, including evolving transportation in the U.S.-transportation fueled by the popularity of the family car and the development of the U.S. highway system; the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that helped divide the "Old South" from the "New South"; and the literary genre known as the "Southern Gothic," or "Southern Grotesque."
The mood of this 1940’s-50’s Georgia highway picture is a sense of foreboding that reflects the spirit of the Flannery O’Connor story "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
Point out to students that the 1950s South experienced a major turning point in African-American history. Note that 1954 marked both O'Connor's writing of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and the landmark Brown v. the Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision to end racial segregation (practices known collectively as "Jim Crow Laws") supported by the 1896 in which the Supreme Court ruled that "racially separate facilities, if equal, did not violate the Constitution." Browse through the EDSITEment-reviewed Smithsonian Institution's virtual exhibition Point out the section of the exhibit, calling attention to the . Ask students to discuss the changes between the "Old South" and the "New South." Remind them that historical change is a process, and that radical, immediate change is rare. How does the family in O'Connor's story reflect this idea?