Nov 14, 2020 in Analysis



"The Beau Monde of Mrs. Bridge" by Evan S. Connell and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery OConnor are two epic stories that contain both similarities and differences in terms of their presentation. Actually, the works are specifically related in terms of the frustration that individuals experience in their marriages. Connell tells the story from the viewpoint of the mother, Mrs. Bridge, whose character is characterized by deep worries and confusion she feels as a result of a bourgeois family boredom, loneliness, and constant isolation. This is also reflected in A Good Man Is Hard to Find where Flannery OConnor tells a story about a tragic road trip by a Grandmother and her sons family. Different themes such as mistrust and racism are also used in both works to deliver the message to readers in the clearest way possible. Thus, this essay compares the two stories in terms of their use of symbols, tone, setting, theme, and the presentation of main characters.


The Similarities of the Stories

These works were written by different authors, and yet, they have the same hidden message with regard to the plot that is unhappiness of the spouses in the marriage. To start with, similarities are manifested in the emotional state of the characters. Mrs. Bridge from the story The Beau Monde of Mrs. Bridge is depicted as a lonely woman who has no sense of self-identity and is rather confused. She acknowledges the fact that she is married, and yet, she feels neither happiness nor love given the fact that her husband is rarely at home, and when he comes home, he does not have time for her. Connell (2013) explains that the woman finds herself in a state of worries and frustration when she expresses her desire for sex to her husband only for him to ignore her. The situation leads her to the conclusion that indeed, marriage may be an impartial affair. In some way, this reminds OConnors story A Good Man Is Hard to Find, especially the Grandmothers resentment concerning the fact that there is no person in the world to be trusted.

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Additionally, both works have an element of racism. In the story A Good Man Is Hard to Find, the Grandmother makes comments about a black child that the family is observing through the window. Similarly, Mrs. Bridge, the heroine of another writing, is irritated by her daughters choice to play with the child of a black gardener on Saturdays, which shows how racial she is. Besides, both writers use women as the main characters.

The writers in both books also use symbols to emphasize their message to the readers. For example, in OConnors (1992) story A Good Man Is Hard to Find, the eye is used as an important symbol to represent a characters mindset. For instance, the Grandmothers eyes are described as bright while she is listening to The Tennessee Waltz, and the Misfits eyes are depicted as red-rimmed and pale after killing the Grandmother. Additionally, the writer states that Baileys eyes are blue and intense when he is trying to argue with the Misfit before he is taken to and killed in the woods.

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In the story "The Beau Monde of Mrs. Bridge", the author also employs symbols to pass his message. For example, Connell (2013) uses tower of garbage piled outside that is to be cleared by Douglas to symbolically refer to the discursive structures that support traditional groundings of subjectivity.

Furthermore, both pieces of writing have strong themes that can be clearly noticed in their storylines. For instance, the theme of mistrust is widely used in the story A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Both the Grandmother and Red Sammy Butts agree that in the contemporary world, it is hard to find someone who is trustworthy. Additionally, in the second story under analysis, the writer employs many themes such as loneliness, misunderstanding, and isolation. All of them are manifested through the image of Mrs. Bridge and her family despite their wealth.

The Differences Between the Stories

On the contrary, these works differ in certain areas including the fact that in the story "The Beau Monde of Mrs. Bridge", only women are shown to complain about their lives. Such characters include Mrs. Bridge and her friend, Grace Barron, who commits suicide at the end of the novel. However, in the story A Good Man Is Hard to Find, the representatives of both genders grumble at people. For example, the Grandmother and Red Sammy Butts both claim that the world is full of people one cannot trust at any point in time.

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In addition, these pieces of writing are different with regard to the tone of each of them. For instance, OConnor (1992) uses a cynical tone in her short story. It can be concluded from the fact that the writer shows no sympathy for her characters as she brings out their worst by mocking at them and leaving the reader to laugh at them. On the contrary, in The Beau Monde of Mrs. Bridge", the writer uses a sympathetic and rather optimistic tone that makes the reader to feel sorry for the characters. Additionally, the settings of each work are different in the sense that while the events of "The Beau Monde of Mrs. Bridge" happen in Kansas, the story of A Good Man Is Hard to Find takes place in Georgia.

In conclusion, the two pieces of writing have a similar hidden message of unhappiness in marriages. The most interesting thing about both of them is that the authors use women as their main characters. Moreover, symbols such as the eye have been employed in the stories to emphasize the message to the readers hence making them more memorable. However, the works have some differences, and the key one regards the gender of characters who always complain about their marriage.


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