A Good Man Is Hard To Find
The story "A Good Man is Hard To Find" begins with a family planning
to take a vacation to Florida. The grandmother who does not want to
take the vacation in Florida is persuading the family. She has read
about a crazed killer by the name of the Misfit, who is on the run,
heading for Florida. The mambas of her family ignore the grandmother.
On the day of the trip, ironically, the grandmother is dressed in her
Sunday best. She is decked in white gloves and navy blue dress with
matching hat. She is the first one in the car and ready to go.
O'Connor is getting the reader to visualize the Southern culture. The
grandmother's purpose of dressing this way is to be recognized as a
lady, in case someone saw her dead on the highway. This tells me the
grandmother's thoughts of death are shallow. Later in the story, the
Misfit says, "There never was a body that gave the undertaker a tip."
(qtd, in DiYanni 202) The grandmother's readiness for death is an
indication that she does not want to go where there is a prisoner on
the loose. However, her readiness for death changes when she
recognizes the Misfit. As the trip progresses, the children act like
brats. O'Connor is illustrating the lost respect for the family and
elders. The family's encounter with Red Sammy Butts serves as another
way O'Connor expresses how trust and respect have begun to wear away.
The grandmother makes the mistake of telling the children the story of
a nearby house that has a secret panel. The children scream until the
father, Bailey, gives in and takes them to see the house. On the way
down the long windy road that leads to the house, the cat gets out of
his cage and...