Flannery O’Connor once received a letter from a college professor asking her, on behalf of his students, to intervene in their interpretative conundrum over her now-canonic short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Most readers of O’Connor will know this story, so I will briefly sketch it: Essentially, the professor and students were convinced that the second half of the story, following the car crash, in which the family meets the Misfit and his gang, must be a dream conjured by Bailey, the driver of the car…

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