A Good Man Is Hard To Find Analysis

Submitted By sszumanski1
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Salvation For The Misguided Flannery O’ Connor’s, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” is a short story about a family’s trip to Florida that goes sour when the encounter an escaped convict called The Misfit. This may seem like a typical slightly quirky horror story with no purpose but to shock audiences, however, upon further evaluation adds up to more than it appears to be. Being the protagonist, the grandmother goes through a chain of events throughout the story which leads to transforming herself and finding salvation with God in the end. The grandmother is perceived to be a narrow-minded woman who lacks awareness of her selfish ways. In the beginning of the story the grandmother starts off by addressing her dislike to going to Florida as a family vacation, and would rater go to Tennessee. She tries hard to manipulate the family by pointing out in the newspaper that a killer is on the loose and likely heading towards Florida. Even the disrespectful grandchildren know that though she didn’t want to go, she would because she wouldn’t want to miss anything. The narrator makes the grandmother seem to be ignorant prejudice woman who looks upon African Americans as inferiors to her social status. When the grandchildren misbehave on their trip the grandmother says, “children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then. Oh look at the cute pick ninny!” (O’ Connor 404). Then she proceeds to tell everyone that she would like to paint a picture of the poor unprivileged black child. She has good intentions on teaching the children morals and values, but at the same time makes a thoughtless racial slur towards an innocent child. O’ Connor, in “A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable,” writes “that the old lady lacked comprehension, but she had a good heart” (431). The grandmother may have seemed like a self absorbed woman, but when her killer is staring her in the face a whole new side of her develops that she didn’t even know she had. The pathway towards the bad predicament was ultimately caused by the grandmother’s actions. Wanting to see the plantation she knew as a child, and then lying about a secret panel to get the grandchildren interested to go. She hid Pitty Sing, the cat, that her son Bailey didn’t want her to bring. The cat is the one in the future that jumps on Bailey while driving and causes the car to crash. She seals everyone’s doom indefinably when she calls out to The Misfit that she recognizes who he is. The Misfit kindly states, “ but it would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn’t of reckernized me” (411). If she didn’t say anything about this realization then the killer might have let them go on their way. The story is completely revolved around her and the steps that she takes towards her liberation and helping The Misfit rather than any other characters involved. The grandmother makes the word “good” into an obscure idea of what it actually means. This leads the observer to question what is a “good” man? She first refers to Red Sammy as a good man when he allows a couple of strangers to charge for gas that they never repaid. In this situation, a good man in her definition seems to be more of a gullible fool with poor perception towards people. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt may not always be a good decision to make. Then when encountering The Misfit she Szumanski 2 proclaims him to be a good man when pleading for her life. Over and over again she announces him to be a good man. Basically, it is almost as if she is trying to convince him that he is good, or trying to believe it herself. The Misfit knows that he isn’t a good man, and anyone else would reasonably know this to be a fact. The grandmother fabricates a good person out to be anyone that she may benefit from at the time. In the beginning, she is more concerned with acting like a good lady than being a good lady. In the end after the grandmother’s