Communication In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” Essay Example


Flannery O’Connor wrote probably the cruelest and piercing stories in American literature. They addressed a wide range of social topics and revealed peoples hidden tools and behavioral motivation. In “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, the development of characters is described adequately through the prism of communication to underline the lack of family organization, the importance of attitudes toward places, and the power of politeness.

The Power of Politeness

In her short story, O’Connor aims to answer the central question of whether it is possible to find a good man in today’s world. The story claims that it is currently complicated to find really good people, meaning that the increase of criminal acts in the community may result in serious threats. Therefore, one of the primary aspects highlighted in the story is sociology and people’s interaction and communication.

For example, the grandmother wants to believe that people are good at heart. She is one of the main characters in the pragmatic conversation and the theory of politeness light. On the one hand, the grandmother is trying to present herself as the right person with strong moral principles. Nevertheless, it is not what she is: the reader realizes that this old lady is willing to look like an ideal individual being not that good in soul.

In contrast, Red Sammy is sad because to his mind everything is getting terrible, and it is hard to find good people. He claims, “A good man is hard to find. Everything is getting terrible. I remember the day you could go off and leave your screen door unlatched. Not no more” (OConnor 6). Both Red Sammy and the grandmother feel nostalgic about the times with no need to worry about the potential crimes, and the opened house doors posed no threat to them (Hani 346-347). This statement highlights that significantly high crime rates in those days reflected the social issues occurring in the present era.

The story clearly shows that communication turns out to be a good source of information about people and their intentions. Successful communication plays a crucial role in people’s lives and helps to get new knowledge and share personal goals (Thuan 218). Understanding each other is impossible without communicating, gaining unique experience, attaining personal goals, and demonstrating one’s power over others. Nevertheless, having a fruitful conversation is a significant concern if human beings do not pay attention to the ways they interact. Having a win-win dialogue assumes saving the interlocutor’s face. In fact, any linguistic approach to interaction is affected by theories of politeness and face, and predictability of people’s utterances shaped by their face considerations.

In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the communication lack results in family disorganization. All the family members manipulate actions and language in relation to others in order to pursue their goals. This social problem might be examined utilizing psychological and sociological aspects of characterization. In Bailey’s family, each person is filled with disorganization, lacking each others attention and mutual respect. The grandmother is selfish and egocentric, Bailey seems to be indifferent to the whole family, and his children lack manners. The emergence of this family is likely to be the primary reason for its disorganization.

It is normal for people to talk about places and their importance in human life and share memories that gain meaning. In fact, attention to Stone Mountain proves the author’s passion for history rather than geography (Flint 120). Hence, the attitudes toward places determine the attitudes toward people, and age is what provokes differences (Vala 226). Nevertheless, Bailey’s family does not express any interest in the grandmother’s stories.

Politeness Approach in Communication

There are many methods to build communication, and the theory of politeness is an option chosen by O’Connor. Courtesy is crucial to the development of characters because it shows their behavioral shifts (Thuan 225). One of the most vivid examples in the story is the encounter of the grandmother with The Misfit. Being a prison escapee, he looks polite, well-mannered, and smart. Unlike her family members, Misfit saves her face, which she struggles for. The grandmother receives an entirely different conversational behavior from The Misfit’s side from what she got acquainted with receiving from all the Baileys.

He addresses the grandmother with a high level of formality like “lady” and “ma’am,” and politely speaks to the whole family. For instance, his greeting is as follows, “Good afternoon. I see you all had you a little spill” (OConnor 8). Even after admitting that children make him nervous, he remains polite with their mother, “Lady, would you mind calling them children to sit down by you?” (OConnor 8). The story is passed by the red thread that, in the past, there were more polite people compared to today’s situation, which challenges the establishment of good family relationships (Hani 345). For example, the grandmother tells stories describing children in ancient times in comparison to the present generation. She says, “In my time, children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then. Oh, look at the cute little pickaninny!” (OConnor 2). This expression reveals that in nature, the grandmother puts herself much higher than others, and, hence, her politeness and good manners depend on her opponents’ social status.

Indeed, modern people pay not much attention to the role of communication, depriving themselves of many things. O’Connor underlines that people are “one violent step away from grace” (Vala 218). For instance, facing death, the grandmother mostly begs, flatters, and lies. Nevertheless, in the end, she touches The Misfit and utters the cryptic line: “You’re one of my own children!” this is likely to be her moment of grace and the divine redemption’s chance (OConnor 12). O’Connor states that “her head cleared for an instant,” and this moment might be the truest in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” She dies as if she understood something fundamental with a smile on her face.


Communication always depends on the contributions of all participants. It is reflected in the contrast of conversation between the grandmother and The Misfit and her style of talking to the family members. With Misfit, she behaves very carefully, avoiding violating the politeness principle and applying face-saving strategies. Whereas communicating with her family, the grandmother becomes a domineering character regularly using a directive tone, demanding much attention, acceptance, and obedience. On the contrary, she struggles to create intimacy in her dialogue with The Misfit through sympathizing and praising with him. On the contrary, The Misfit establishes social distance with her through politeness at the most significant scale. Nevertheless, they both realize that the grandmother lost control and her life is in his hands. Hence, O’Connor masterfully reflects how communication style and the extent of politeness depend on the circumstances and the importance of communication’s outcome.


Flint, Thomas P. “On the Significance of Civil War References in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find’.” Renascence, vol. 70, no. 2, 2018, pp. 119–128. Web. 

Hani, Mohamad. “Analysis of Social Problem in A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor.” English Community Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, 2019, pp. 342-349.

O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Gothic Digital Series, repository. 2020. Web.

Thuan, Le Thi Bich. “Character Analysis Through Politeness in A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, vol. 6, no. 4, 2017, pp. 218-226. Web.

Vala, João Pedro. “A Good Man is Easy to Find: Flannery O’Connor’s Theology of Death. “Journal of Linguistics & Literature, vol. 1, no. 1, 2018, pp. 221-219.

Infection Control Related Sentinel Events

Health is a critical issue. There are various ways through which individuals get infected with various illness and diseases. Some of them could be prevented while others could only be controlled. Being healthy is extremely important since illness is associated with a lot of negative attributes for instance un-productivity due to inability to perform duties, poverty due to expenses incurred on treatment and many other inconveniences to not only the victim but also the caregivers and relatives. For this reason, there is dire need to take any possible measure aimed at avoiding infections in an effort to live a comfortable life free from illness. This piece of work gives a review of The Joint Commission (TJC) website especially on the sentinel event alert part. Much emphasis will be given to the Sentinel Event Alert, Issue 7: Inpatient Suicides: Recommendations for Prevention.

Although statistics show that there are relatively few cases of infection-related sentinel that are made known to the Joint commission, it is evident that there is a high number of individuals who acquire infections in different health care settings, some of them dying from the infections. This therefore calls for some actions to be taken in order to avoid or rather minimize such cases. Sentinel Event Alert, Issue 7: Inpatient Suicides: Recommendations for Prevention outlines critical concepts. There have been considerable cases related to inpatient suicide. They happen in diverse health care facilities e.g. psychiatric hospitals. Most of the cases are associated with negligence among the medical practitioners. This therefore necessitates that there may be adequate observation all the time for all the patients that are at a high risk of contemplating suicide (The Joint Commission, 1998).

Despite the fact that patients are taken to health care facilities so as to attain health care and recover from their ill conditions, there are chances where the patient’s conditions worsens after they get into the health care facilities and to the extreme, it may lead to suicidal attempts and deaths. Suicide instances are exacerbated by various factors and hence the need to keep them in control. Some of the causes of inpatient suicide include poor patient assessment methods during intake. This leads to poor action in regard to the patient, for instance, there may be chances of poor assignment of the patient where he or she may be confined to an inappropriate unit and hence inappropriate care is given. Incomplete observation is also a key contributor. The care environment is as well crucial. If it is not secure enough, it may increase chances of suicide and suicide attempts. Staffs also play a role in influencing suicide cases. Insufficient knowledge and skills due to poor training could lead to inappropriate handling of patients deemed to be susceptible to suicidal attempts. All these are issues that could be controlled within health care facilities (The Joint Commission, 1998).

To reduce cases of inpatient suicide brought about by the above named factors, the following should be emphasized. Establishment and implementation of consistent and appropriate observation procedures, making certain that staff are well trained and provided with appropriate orientation as a way of enhancing their work, and checking on the non-breakaway hardware. It is also advisable that education programs and campaigns be undertaken so as to inform people on different issues associated with suicide especially the risk factors. The policies and procedures linked with patient handling should be updated regularly and strictly observed. Security measures within health care facilities should also be reinforced to allow for easy arresting of suicide related activities among the patients. They include appropriate locking mechanisms to minimize cases of running away and attempting suicide, installation of effective patient monitoring systems such as alarms among other measures. Items that could harm the patients should be looked at, for instance, the shower heads and bars and closet bars should be installed in a manner that does not suggest suicide (The Joint Commission, 1998).

From the above discussion, it is evident that although health care facilities are meant to take care of patients in terms of solving their health problems, they are a major contributor of infection cases as well as deaths of patients who die from being infected while in health facilities. Despite this, most cases are not reported to the Joint commission based on various factors for instance the fact that they do not qualify as sentinel events. For this reason, there is dire need for events to be critically analyzed in an effort to identify effective strategies to be employed through provision of all the relevant information. It is very important that good patient care is emphasized in health care institutions as a way of preventing inpatient suicide cases. It is also the responsibility of the management in health care facilities to ensure that the environment of care is appropriate so as to ensure that patients are not in a position of accessing items that could in one way or the other facilitate suicide or are rather harmful.

Reference List

The Joint Commission (1998). Sentinel Event Alert, Issue 7: Inpatient Suicides: Recommendations for Prevention. Web.

Intermodal And Special Carriers

Reasons for the growth of Inter-modal rail transport (TOFC & COFC) since the 1980’s

Inter-modal transport is primarily transporting goods by containers using more than one mode of transport. The development of this type of transportation traces its roots to the mid 1950s when Malcolm Mc Lean (a truck line owner) developed a trailer to move freight through highway and water. Inter-modal transport in the form of TOFC is the movement of motor car trailers on flat cars while CORC is the movement of containers on flat cars (Coyle, et al., 2006, p.212).

Growth in the global business, particularly in the off shore sourcing of goods by countries in the pacific realm led to the increase in the use of inter-modal transport (Water- rail- truck). In 1986 there was a shortage of drivers brought about by the stringent licensing of drivers in the United States of America. This led to an increase in use of piggy backs whereby two or more containers could be piled against each other. This led to decreased costs of freight as opposed to transporting one container at a time. According to the book by Coyle et al. (2006, p.213), teamster union agreements permitted the diversion of up to 28% of line haul movement to inter-modal which has made the sector one of the railroad’s industry largest customers.

Situations in the transport sector barring some modes of transport from being effective enough has also greatly contributed to the development of inter-modal transportation or even facilitated its coming into existence. For instance, goods are usually availed at the airport for air travel via other modes of transport such as roads. This is the same case for rail transport where some goods had to be transported using other means to the railway depots hence promoting inter-modal transport. Such situations have greatly contributed to the development of inter-modal transport as it couples either of the methods with road which is easily accessible and can serve points that other modes cannot e.g. at the door step of a recipient.

Role of the Container in Inter-modal transport

Inter-modal transport greatly relies on the container for ease of transferability of cargo from one mode of transport to another e.g. from a ship to a train or trailer without repacking the goods. This greatly improves efficiency of transportation and saves tremendous time as well which could have otherwise been used in physically transferring the goods from one mode of transport to another. This reduces the chances of damages to the goods and theft as well because everything is done at the loading point (Coyle, et al., 2006, p.214).

Containers make it possible for the railroad flat car to carry more than one type of goods at a time (piggyback) since one container can be piled against another without any damage. This considerably reduces the cost of transportation and improves efficiency as well. Containers can also be made in different sizes ranging in length from 28 to 53 feet making it possible for trailers to handle different sizes or for different types of freight to be transported easily.

The containers have also made it possible for refrigeration services to be built in the containers. This has made the transportation of perishables possible over long distances which could have otherwise cost the companies a lot of money to hire air transport. However, containers have a high empty weight compared to other transport means. This is due to their metallic nature which reduces the shipment weight that can be legally hauled on the highways. This not withstanding, the container is still widely used because of its easy transferability from one mode to another and due to its minimal handling costs (Coyle, et al., 2006, p.214).


Coyle, J., Bardi, J., & Novack, R. (2006). Transportation (6th ed.). Ohio: South-Western College Pub.