“She would be a good woman”, The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”(437), The Misfit evaluates the grandmother in Flannery O’ Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”(1953). This quote gives a clear portrayal of what people think of the grandmother. The only way for her to truly see herself on the same level as everyone around her is in a life or death situation. The characteristics of the grandmother are seen throughout the story in how she interacts with her son Bailey, his wife, and their children as well as the events that occur throughout the story. Several of the grandmother’s actions are the reason her family was put in such danger at the end of the story with the car wreck and The Misfit. An extremely selfish character, the grandmother has mastered the ways of being both hypocritical and deceitful.
One obvious trait of the grandmother is her selfishness. In the beginning, she demonstrates her selfishness when she tries to change Bailey’s mind about going to Florida by telling him about The Misfit and reminding him that the children have already been to Florida. She is questioning his parenting by suggesting that he would take his kids to the same state as The Misfit, a criminal on the loose. However, the only reason she is giving Bailey examples of why he should not go to Florida is for her own behalf. The grandmother wants to go to east Tennessee to visit some of her connections. Another example that portrays the grandmother’s selfishness occurs when they encounter The Misfit after their car wreck. The second she recognizes one of the three men helping Bailey with his car as The Misfit, she calls him out on it. She does this, not caring that it will put the entire family’s lives in danger. This would be considered an extremely selfish act. The last example, a quote, really shows her as an extremely selfish woman. “You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?”(433), says the grandmother while her entire family is being murdered one by one by The Misfit’s orders. Instead of begging him to spare her loved ones’ lives, she begs for her own life. She talks to him in a way that shows how she believes she is superior to everyone else.
To conclude, the grandmother’s hypocrisy is shown several times throughout the story. A quote that demonstrates her hypocrisy is stated by the narrator about the grandmother. “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.”(428). In this quote, it shows that all the grandmother cares about is her appearance. That is extremely hypocritical when it comes to her religion, christianity. If she was a true christian, she would care more about people knowing she was a christian than just a lady who dressed well. Another example showing her hypocrisy would be how she is always getting angry at the kids for their actions when she should be working on her own actions. She gets mad at John Wesley for insulting Tennessee when the whole time she is only giving reasons not to go to Florida, because she wanted to go to Tennessee for her own reasons. “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.” This quote shows her hypocrisy, because she shows that her conscience guides her through life. However, if she was a true christian, God would guide her life, and she would answer to Him for all her wrong…