Plot: I. Exposition


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A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

Flannery O’Connor



  • Alabama family plans a trip to Florida (3-day trip)

    • Grandmother: old, thin, manipulative

    • Bailey (her only son, bald, like Hulga, bites his tongue/hates his mother)

    • Children’s mother (broad face, cabbage innocent, slacks, green kerchief --Bailey’s wife, no name = grandmother doesn’t like her)

    • Baby son

    • John Wesley, son, 8, fat, glasses, brat

    • June Star, daughter, ?, curly blonde, brat

    • Pitty Sing, cat

  • Grandmother wants to go to east Tennessee (childhood? fond memories?)

    • 1st line = “The grandmother didn't want to go to Florida.”

    • Reason #1: visit connections there

    • Reason #2: children have been to Florida before (BUT she doesn’t really care @ the kids)


    • broke out of federal penitentiary

      • (not “jail”)

      •  supposed to make them penitent, repentant of sins/crimes BUT doesn’t work

      •  contrast/compare to the rest of us who = unrepentant (grandmother)

    • heading to Florida

      • foreshadows part V

  • kids reading funny pages, Bailey reading sports section, grandmother manipulating, mother caring for baby

  • she has to go everywhere we go

    • kid = brat
    • grandmother = controlling, manipulative, busybody

    • Bailey = mama’s boy


II. Next morning

  • grandmother = 1st in the car (after all that complaining!)

    • notes the exact mileage, exact time of departure

    • backseat driver

  • 8:45 AM

  • Grandmother sneaks cat along – even though she knows Bailey hates bring it along

    • does what she wants

  • Grandmother in middle, back, between the brats

  • Bailey drives, wife holds baby

  • Grandmother vs. mother (dress)

    • lady

    • The old lady settled herself comfortably, removing her white cotton gloves and putting them up with her purse on the shelf in front of the back window. The children's mother still had on slacks and still had her head tied up in a green kerchief, but the grandmother had on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print. Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet

  • Speed limit = 55

  • Grandmother (+):

    • Observant & appreciative of NATURE

      • connection to nature

      • points out interesting details of the scenery as the pass

      • (could be a [-] being a pain in the butt)

  • kids = brats
    • Tennessee = “hillbilly dumping ground”

    • Georgia = “lousy state too”

  • pickaninny

    • in a doorway (along the highway)

    • w/o any pants on (so poor)

    • (OLD SOUTH)

    • wants to paint picture

      • art

      • not help the poor

      • but paint the picture


  • kids w/ comic books & early lunch

  • Plantation #1

    • cotton field/grave yard

    • family graves on the plantation

    • plantation = “gone w/the wind” joke

    • (OLD SOUTH)


III. Grandmother’s story

    • Mr. Edgar Atkins Teagarden from Jasper, Georgia

    • E.A.T.

    • watermelon

    • eaten by poor, hungry black boy

    •  missed opportunity/regrets: (“wrong turns” in life)

      • should have married him ($$$ - stock in Coca-Cola)

      • materialistic

      • foreshadows “wrong turn” later


IV Red Sammy’s Famous BBQ

  • The Tower

    • name foreshadows death

  • BBQ for lunch

    • (kids already ate theirs lunch boxes)

  • Red Sammy Butts

  • gray monkey:

    • tied to tree, hides from children
      • kids = brats

    • grotesque, weird

  • Sammy’s wife: burnt-brown skin, light hair & eyes

  • The Tennessee Waltz

    • Grandmother’s passive-aggressive reminder she wanted to go to Tenn., not Florida

    • asks Bailey to dance

    • he only glares at her (Hulga, Mary Grace—seething hatred of parent)

  • June Star

    • wants attention - plays upbeat song to tap for

    • brat: “I wouldn’t live in a broken down place like this for a million bucks”

  • Red Sammy’s story

    • “you don’t know who to trust”

    • allowed boys in a Chrysler to charge gas, said they worked a the mill

      • The Misfit????

  • Hint Red Sammy = not a nice guy

    • (and hint that Grandmother = BLIND)

    • wife: “nobody you can trust” looking at RS

    • RS cuts her off 2x: when she’s talking to June Star (brat!) & after can’t trust comment

    • wife: “I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he didn't attack this place right here," said the woman. "If he hears about it being here, I wouldn't be none surprised to see him. If he hears it's two cent in the cash register, I wouldn't be a tall surprised if he . . .”

      • MISFIT was there, abetted by Sammy

  • Misfit: grandmother brings up the Misfit (wife’s previous comment = response to it)

  • TITLE: Red Sammy: "A good man is hard to find," Red Sammy said. "Everything is getting terrible. I remember the day you could go off and leave your screen door unlatched. Not no more."
  • Grandmother blames Europe

    • way they acted = made of money (?)

    • RS: no use talking about it (to end the conversation)

  • “the monkey in the lacy chinaberry tree. He was busy catching fleas on himself and biting each one carefully between his teeth as if it were a delicacy

    • Does this = them

      • eating their lunches

      • talking about good ol’ days

        • fleas = aphorisms, types of conversations @ halcyon days



  • grandmother falls asleep – wakes herself with her own snoring

  • plantation outside Toomsboro

    • sparks recollection of one she visited when “she was a young lady”

    • (trying to recapture her youth, lost in the past)

    • this trip = like a “trip down memory lane” for her

  • secret panel

    • where family hid silver from Sherman

    • never found

    • a lie!

      • “she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were”

      • “it would be very educational for them”

      • knowing the kids would chime in, of course

        • to get her way

        • (passive-aggressive, manipulative)

  • Brats!

    • wine & cry

    • kicked the back of his father’s seat while driving

  • Wimp!

    • Bailey gives in

    • sucker

  • dirt road =

    • 1 mile BACK

    • hilly

    • “sharp curves on dangerous embankments”

    • ups & downs, highs & lows

    • blue trees, red dirt

    • “The road looked as if no one had traveled on it in months.”

      • HINTS, FORESHADOWING …..danger!!

        • sharp turns, ups & downs, no sign of life

  • OOPS!

    • wrong place

    • “It's not much farther," the grandmother said and just as she said it, a horrible thought came to her….. The horrible thought she had had before the accident was that the house she had remembered so vividly was not in Georgia but in Tennessee.”


    • cat that she sneaked w/them jumps on Bailey’s neck

    • “The thought was so embarrassing that she turned red in the face and her eyes dilated and her feet jumped up, upsetting her valise in the corner. The instant the valise moved, the newspaper top she had over the basket under it rose with a snarl and Pitty Sing, the cat, sprang onto Bailey's shoulder.”

      • She = to BLAME for their deaths

        • the plantation

        • the wrong turn

        • the cat

        • the accident

        • (b/c she had to get her way)

    • Kids = thrown to the floor (think it’s cool they were in an accident)

    • Mother & Baby = thrown out the door, into a ditch, scratched face & broken shoulder

    • Bailey = in car

    • Grandmother = thrown into the front, under the dashboard

      • into the front  replaces the WIFE

      • MOTHER replaces WIFE  reverse OEDIPAL COMPLEX
    • Car = 360, turns over once & ends right-side up, in a gulch 10 feet from road

  • Bailey’s wrath”

    • like HULGA, Mary Grace

    • seething hate for parent

    • knows she drives him crazy

      • negative attention = attention

    • Bailey throws the cat against a pine tree

      • (displacement)

  • Grandmother

    • hopes she broke something

      • attention

      • does not have to face Bailey’s wrath all at once

    • does NOT accept responsibility (cat)

    • does NOT “confess” that she was wrong about the plantation

  • all get out & sit in ditch, shaking

    • (except kids, who think it’s cool, disappointed no one was killed)

    • (antisocial – no care for anyone)

  • Grandmother says she thinks she’s “injured an organ” BUT no one cares, responds

  • THEN she “stood and waved both arms dramatically” to get the attention of a car

    • not hurt (attention)

    • She = to BLAME for their deaths

      • waves for the car

      • “You’re the Misfit!”

  • Foreshadowing: car

    • watching

    • comes on slowly

    • “hearse-like”

  • 3:

    1. Hiram – fat, red sweat shirt w/silver stallion on it, gun

    2. Bobby Lee – khakis, blue-striped coat, gray hat pulled over his face, gun

    3. MISFIT – driver, older than other boys, hair going gray, silver-rimmed glasses (“scholarly look”), long creased face, no shirt on, too-tight jeans, holding black hat, gun

  • Grandmother recognizes the Misfit
    • Gets them KILLED

    • “Yes'm," the man said, smiling slightly as if he were pleased in spite of himself to be known, "but it would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn't of reckernized me.”

  • Woods = foreshadowing, foreboding

    • “Behind them the line of woods gaped like a dark open mouth.”

  • Bailey turned his head sharply and said something to his mother that shocked even the children. The old lady began to cry and The Misfit reddened.

    • in response to the Misfit’s last remark

    • Bailey realizes she just them killed

    • not mentioned – curse (shut the **** up)

    • Misfit = embarrassed #1:

      • even the Misfit was embarrassed - ???

      • weird gentlemanly aspect

      • (as if he were some perversion of the “good man” Grandmother has been prattling on about)

      • (like Manley Pointer = embodiment of Nothing that Hulga went on about)

  • Grandmother’s tactic (save her own skin)

    • “You wouldn't shoot a lady, would you?”

    • “I know you're a good man.”

    • “Yes, it's a beautiful day”

    • “You could be honest too if you'd only try”

    • “Do you every pray?”

    • All + $$

      • You've got good blood! I know you wouldn't shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I'll give you all the money I've got!

  • Misfit echoes MANLEY POINTER: (to Hulga at end)
    • “Yes mam," he said, "finest people in the world." When he smiled he showed a row of strong white teeth. "God never made a finer woman than my mother and my daddy's heart was pure gold," he said.”

  • Misfit = monkey

    • Doesn’t trust the kids

  • 30 minutes to fix car

  • all 6 together in a ditch

  • Bailey & John Wesley taken into the woods by Hiram & Bobby Lee

    • everybody knows they’re going to die

    • Grandmother =

      • nervous, can’t fix her hat (drops)

      • "Come back this instant!" his mother shrilled but they all disappeared into the woods.

      • "Bailey Boy!" the grandmother called in a tragic voice but she found she was looking at The Misfit squatting on the ground in front of her. "I just know you're a good man," she said desperately. "You're not a bit common!"

    • Bailey = “I'll be back in a minute, Mamma, wait on me!” (NOT to his WIFE!!)

    • Wife = not a word

  • Misfit:

    • “‘Nome, I ain't a good man,’ The Misfit said after a second as if he had considered her statement carefully, ‘but I ain't the worst in the world neither. My daddy said I was a different breed of dog from my brothers and sisters. “You know,” Daddy said, “it's some that can live their whole life out without asking about it and it's others has to know why it is, and this boy is one of the latters. He's going to be into everything!”’”

  • Misfit = embarrassed #2

    • no shirt

    • grandmother offers one of Bailey’s
    • He put on his black hat and looked up suddenly and then away deep into the woods as if he were embarrassed again. "I'm sorry I don't have on a shirt before you ladies," he said, hunching his shoulders slightly. "We buried our clothes that we had on when we escaped and we're just making do until we can get better. We borrowed these from some folks we met," he explained.

      • killed (“met”) other people

  • Grandmother = standing above Misfit

    • looking down on him

    • as if he’s praying in front of her

    • mother/son

    • God/sinner, penitent

  • 2 shots

    • “Bailey Boy!” she called.

  • Misfit’s past jobs:

    • gospel singer

    • arm service both land and sea, at home and abroad

    • been twict married,

    • been an undertaker,

    • been with the railroads,

    • plowed Mother Earth,

    • been in a tornado,

    • seen a man burnt alive oncet

    • even seen a woman flogged

  • Misfit’s crime

    • doesn’t remember

    • didn’t think he was ever a bad person

    • ? killed his father (said psychiatrist)

      • died in Flue Pandemic of 1918 (1919)

    • not theft – nobody had anything he wanted

      • self-sufficient

  • penitentiary = being buried alive

    • OR 2 separate?

  • Misfit puts on Bailey’s shirt

    • completing the transference of Bailey to Misfit, Misfit as her Bailey

    • Grandmother can’t remember whose shirt it was

      • already forgotten him

      • (transference)

  • Misfit politely asks

    • asks them to sit together

    • asks Bailey & son into woods

    • asks Wife, daughter, baby into woods

    • (gentlemanly killer)

  • Grandmother loses her voice
    • sounds like she’s cursing Jesus


  • Misfit = Jesus

    • punished wrongly (doesn’t remember his crime)

    • punishment is not = to the crime

    • “Jesus shown everything off balance. It was the same case with Him as with me except He hadn't committed any crime and they could prove I had committed one because they had the papers on me.”

  • Misfit’s name:

    • “Of course," he said, "they never shown me my papers. That's why I sign myself now. I said long ago, you get you a signature and sign everything you do and keep a copy of it. Then you'll know what you done and you can hold up the crime to the punishment and see do they match and in the end you'll have something to prove you ain't been treated right. I call myself The Misfit," he said, "because I can't make what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment.”

    • Does it seem right to you, lady, that one is punished a heap and another ain't punished at all?"

  • June Star = shot

    • Mother screams, shot (JS = shot)

    • 2 more shots (Mother & Baby)

      • Grandmother calls out for Bailey (although he’s already dead)

  • "Lady," The Misfit said, looking beyond her far into the woods, "there never was a body that give the undertaker a tip."

    • doesn’t want $$$

    • (self-sufficient)

    • symbolizes self-sufficient Man

      • no God, no society

      • more dog than human

      • cold, no morals, no mercy, no conscience, killer

      • moral code = “no pleasure but meanness

      • cloudless & sunless sky
        • no God, faith, religion

        • no pleasure, joy

        • just existence

        • (existentialism)

      • politeness but nothing behind it

        • (demonstrates & embodies the emptiness of the grandmother’s faith/aphorisms)

        • (like Manley Pointer to Hulga’s Nothing)

  • Misfit on Jesus:

    • "Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead," The Misfit continued, "and He shouldn't have done it. He thown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it's nothing for you to do but thow away everything and follow Him, and if He didn't, then it's nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness," he said and his voice had become almost a snarl. (he = DOG)

      • Flannery O’Connor’s Christianity

      • either/or proposition

        • live through Christ

        • or live as animal, killer

  • Grandmother denies Jesus;

    • denies that Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead

    •  weak faith

      • (Grandmother = Peter – see below, 3 shots)

    • Grandmother’s weak faith:

      • denies Jesus

      • tells Misfit to pray BUT she never does

      • manipulative

      • no remorse, no apology, no responsibility

      • says anything to save her own neck

        • no faith in the face of Death

          • faithful would embrace death, would not fear it
          • (?) were the rest of the family strong in faith??


    • #1 Grandmother & marry rich guy (EAT)

    • #2 Misfit on seeing Jesus’ miracle

      • "I wasn't there so I can't say He didn't," The Misfit said. "I wisht I had of been there," he said, hitting the ground with his fist. "It ain't right I wasn't there because if I had of been there I would of known. Listen lady," he said in a high voice, "if I had of been there I would of known and I wouldn't be like I am now." His voice seemed about to crack…”

      • like he’s confessing to her

      • making excuses for his behavior, what he’s about to do

  • Grandmother’s EPIPHANY-REALIZATION (?):

    • “…the grandmother's head cleared for an instant. She saw the man's face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children !" She reached out and touched him on the shoulder.”

    • as if she owns him, owns up to him

    • owns her responsibility

      • human responsibility

      • responsibility for getting family into this mess & killed

    • her Realization OR Transference

      • Misfit = Bailey

  • The Misfit sprang back as if a snake had bitten him and shot her three times through the chest. Then he put his gun down on the ground and took off his glasses and began to clean them.

    • snake –

      • snake handlers in religious rites

      • serpent  Grandmother = Satan???

      • human contact

    • 3 shots –
      • Peter’s 3 denials of Christ

  • Grandmother = born again

    • like a child again

    • “with her legs crossed under her like a child's and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky”

    •  Realization

  • Misfit keeps cat

    • Cat rubs up against his leg

    • CAT + MISFIT

      • NO allegiances, no code

      • self-serving, self-sufficient

      • resilient

      • survivor

        • resilient

        • not living but surviving, animalistic

      • goes w/whomever will take care of her basic needs

  • "She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

    • Flannery O’Connor: purpose of VIOLENCE

      • true colors show

      • only way to change someone is through VIOLENCE

  • "It's no real pleasure in life."

    • life = pain, no pleasure

      • life w/o Jesus = pain

    • (existentialism)




  • women’s fashion

  • children = more respectful

  • then/now – good ol’ days

  • don’t know who tot trust (w/Red)

  • screen door unlatched – “a good man is hard to find” (w/Red)

  • paved roads, dirt roads

  • slavery/plantations

  • plantation = “gone w/the wind” joke

Grandmother (-):

  • wants everything her way (to go to Tennessee, not Florida)

  • nagging

  • shallow

  • moral clichés

    • “people aren’t nice like they used to be” (good ol’ days)

    • “a good man is hard to find”

      •  mindlessness

      •  lack of charity

      •  Christianity in the mouth But not in the heart

      • (like Mrs. Hopewell in “Good Country People”)

  • doesn’t like daughter-in-law

    • she gives her no name

    • children’s mother

    • doesn’t like the way she dresses

      • slacks

      • bandana (green)

      • (not “lady”-like)

  • backseat driver

    • notes exact time of departure

    • notes exact mileage

    • notes exactly how long it took to get to the outskirts of Atlanta

    • reminds Bailey of the speed limit (55)

  • good ol’ days:

    • moral clichés, aphorisms

      • “in my day” “in my time” “if I were a little boy”

    • judgmental

    • TITLE ***

    • blind to truth @ Red, Misfit, everything

  • manipulative

    • always tries to get her way

    • sneaks the cat along (although she knows Bailey hates traveling with the cat)

    • keeps mentioning Tennessee

    • good ol’ days

    • plantations

    • gets them to go visit the plantation

      • mentions secret passageway & treasure

      • knowing full-well the children would want to go …& nag until they went




    • slavery

      • plantations

      • black boy in door way

      • black boy who stole her watermelon

    • “lady”

    • suitors


TITLE: What is a “GOOD” man?

  • Good

    • morally so

    • righteous

    • ambiguous, subjective term

    • (to Grandmother)

      • not morally, ethically good

      • not aligned with Jesus

      • but aligned with Grandmother’s sense of good, aligned with values/morals

  • Man

    • or woman

    • person

    • Can anybody be good?

    • Are there any good people left?

  • Hard to find

    • in life

      • exists, BUT rare

      • true faith is rare

    • not in this story

      • Bailey

      • Misfit

      • Brat

  • men = impotent (Bailey)


    • Sophie Tucker 1927 (of an Eddie Green 1918 hit)

    • A good man is hard to find

You always get the other kind

Just when you think that he is your pal

You look for him and find him fooling 'round some other gal

Then you rave, you even crave

To see him laying in his grave

So, if your man is nice, take my advice and hug him in the morning, kiss him ev'ry night,

Give him plenty lovin', treat him right

For a good man nowadays is hard to find, a good man nowadays is hard to find.

  • Micah 7:2:

    • The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.


Misfit = Jesus:

    • buried alive

    • jailed for ?? (he can’t remember)

    • throws lives off balance

  • Misfit (+):

    • Doesn’t follow Jesus

    • BUT realizes the deficiency of hedonism, materialism, of shallow faith

  • life without grace (life “thrown off balance”)

    • life = without meaning

      • materialism, hedonism

      •  then all pleasure = lawful (but turns to dust)

    • life = meaning

      •  only meaning through Jesus, by following Jesus


  • you’re one of my own children”

    • misfit is not her child, flesh & blood

    • But

    • a suffering human being like herself

    • not just a news story

    • her responsibility as a human being

    • moment of clarity

    • moment of GRACE


  • Grandmother’s attempts to save herself, to dissuade Misfit from killing her:

    • good man, come from good stock

    • pray

    • can’t shoot a lady

    • give him money, bribe


Warped Moral Codes:

  • moral codes =

    • not necessarily “good” or “righteous”

    • guiding principles of life

    • system of beliefs that inform their perceptions, decisions, behaviors, actions

  • Bailey: mother before wife, mama’s boy

  • Grandmother:

    • “lady” - antiquated notion, based solely on appearances (style over substance)

    • whatever pleases her, gets her way

    • weak faith, unquestioned faith, hypocritical faith

    • shallow piety

  • Misfit: “no pleasure but meanness,” violence, survival; punishment should fit the crime (BUT!)

    • his code = consistent

    • his code wins in the end (?)

  • Children: no manners, food, attention, small-brain amusements, rude, brats!



  • 3rd person POV

  • 3rd person limited omniscient

    • doesn’t know everyone’s thoughts

    • “The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida.” = 1st sentence
    • “She” not “I” = 3rd person

    • BUT not everybody’s thoughts

  • Grandmother’s POV = emphasized

    • 1st sentence

    • insight into mostly her thoughts

    • her attitude/opinion of the Wife/Mother – no name



  • Misfit at the start

  • if found dead on the side of the road from car crash (her outfit)

  • plantation grave yard (6 graves = 6 people in the car)

  • perhaps monkey (wild)

  • missed opportunities, wrong turns in life (?)

  • hearse-like car

  • up & down red dirt road

  • wild woods



  • ironic TONE throughout

  • I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did.”

    • BUT that’s exactly what she does

  • Dramatic irony:

    • we know what they don’t

    • Grandmother’s blindness

    • their impending murders

    • foreshadowing

  • Verbal irony:

    • Grandmother says one thing, means another (her tricks)

    • Misfit “met” other people

  • Irony of situation:

    • go on vacation & die

    • happen to run in to Misfit



  • Cat (Pitty Sing)

    • Grandmother’s doing what she wants

      • sneaks it along while knowing Bailey hates bringing it on trips

    • Grandmother’s childishness (the name = pretty thing in Baby Talk)

    • cause of accident

    • cat = Misfit

      • no allegiances

      • self-serving

  • Monkey

    • doesn’t trust the brats

    • wild (foreshadows)

  • Hat

    • “lady”

    • appearances, facade

    • appearances only, shallow

  • Plantations


    • idealized past, romanticized, glorified, false

    • slavery, oppression

    •  good ol’ days = not so good

  • Plantation w/secret panel:

    • secret panel =

      • mystery, lure of easy money, adventure


      • Grandmother lives in the past

      • past = halcyon days, good ol’ days

      • BUT

      • the good ol’ days weren’t always good

      • in the wrong state

      • doesn’t/didn’t exist

        • certainly not for the SLAVES

        • (was she lying @ suitors, EAT, too???)

    • cause of their deaths

  • Toomsboro

    • “tomb”

  • Misfit’s hearse-like car

    • hearse = death

  • Woods

  • Dirt road

    • wild, off beaten path

    • red dirt = blood = death

  • Cloudless & Sunless Sky

    • indeterminacy

      • not night

      • not day

      • in between

    • emptiness

      • Grandmother = empty inside, all appearances

      • Misfit = empty inside, no faith, no goodness but no joy of evil, no pleasure (just is)

      • Family = empty, no love, no bond

    • nowhere

      • lost & to die in the middle of nowhere

      • not the normal world

      • took a turn off life’s highway

      • to this no man’s land, wild, phantom zone

        • badlands, primeval, in-between

    • loneliness

    • godless universe

      • cosmic loneliness

    • a life w/o God, w/o following Jesus

      • barren, alone

    • contrast

      • beautiful day

      • murder, death


      • she often uses skies & weather as symbols

      • to reflect characters’ mindsets, frames/states of mind

        • Grandmother at end:

          • dies with a clear view of the world, herself, her position in it

          • “…the grandmother's head cleared for an instant…”

  • Chinaberry Tree (Melia azedarach)

    • like a lilac, Mahogany family

    • poisonous

    • invasive

    • resilient, drought-resistant

    • shade in heat

    • climbing tree

    • deep roots

    • snake-like limbs

    • Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil (???) beauty & poison

    • Description:
      Cultivated spreading tree 30-50 feet high. One to 2 inches long, narrow or oval, toothed leaflets. Loose clusters of purple flowers in spring or early summer, followed by yellow, wrinkled, hard, berry-like fruit one-half inch across.

    • Poisonous Parts:
      All parts, the fruit is generally involved

    • < >

    • Description: Deciduous tree to 50 feet (15 m) in height and 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, much branched with multiple boles, lacy dark-green leaves having a musky odor, and clusters of lavender flowers in spring yielding persistent, poisonous yellow berries.

    • History: Introduced in the mid-1800s from Asia. Widely planted as a traditional ornamental around homesites. Extracts potentially useful for natural pesticides.

    • Biology & Spread: Reproduces on-site primarily from root sprouts, and over longer distances via bird-dispersed seeds. Reproductively mature when it reaches the size of a shrub. Flowers in the spring, fruits in the summer. Fruit remain on the tree past leaf fall.
    • Ecological Threat: Chinaberry outcompetes native vegetation due to its high relative resistance to insects and pathogens. Its leaf litter raises soil pH, thus altering soil conditions for native plants and seed germination. Chinaberry is a very fast growing tree that reaches 18 - 24 feet in height in 4 - 5 years. May reach 50 - 60 feet in total height.

    • US Habitat: Common on roadsides, at forest margins, and around old homesites but rare at high elevations. Semishade tolerant. Forms colonies from root sprouts or sprouts from root collars, and spreads by bird-dispersed abundant seeds.

    • < >


  • Spark Notes: < >

  • Who's the Real Misfit?” < >

  • “Everything Off Balance” < >

  • Quiz-o-Rama < >

Tom Waits’ “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”

I lit a wooden match; I let it all burn down

I've broken every rule; I've wrecked it all down

There are no words in the wind, the trees are all bare

Life's mean as a needle; but why should I care?

A good man is hard to find

Only strangers sleep in my bed

My favorite words are good-bye

And my favorite color is red

I always play Russian Roulette in my head

It's seventeen black and twenty-nine red

How far from the gutter; how far from the pew

I'll always remember to forget about you

A good man is hard to find

Only strangers sleep in my bed

My favorite words are good-bye

And my favorite color is red

A long dead soldier looks out from the frame

No one remembers his war; no one remembers his name

Go out to the meadow; scare off all the crows

It does nothing but rain here, and nothing will grow

A good man is hard to find

Only strangers sleep in my bed

My favorite words are good-bye

And my favorite color is red

Tennessee Waltz

I was dancin' with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz

When an old friend I happened to see

I introduced her to my loved one

And while they were dancin'

My friend stole my sweetheart from me.

I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz

Now I know just how much I have lost

Yes, I lost my little darlin' the night they were playing

The beautiful Tennessee Waltz.

(Instrumental Interlude)

I was dancin' with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz

When an old friend I happened to see

I introduced her to my loved one

And while they were dancin'

My friend stole my sweetheart from me.

I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz

Now I know just how much I have lost

Yes, I lost my little darlin' the night they were playing

The beautiful Tennessee Waltz

The beautiful Tennessee Waltz

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