A prolific writer, famously known as Flannery O’Connor in 1953, wrote the short narrative titled “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (Scott 2). However, it was published two years later in 1955, in her second collection of short stories. This particular collection presented the author as a key voice in the ancient American literature world until she met her sudden death in 1964 when she was only 39. The collection also won her tremendous fame, especially concerning her unmatchable creativity and mastery of short narratives (Seel 211). Interestingly, Flannery O’Connor considered all her works realistic and extremely cynical, despite the fact she also incorporated the use of fiction as a style in her works. In addition, her works were fundamentally inspired by her outstandingly strong faith in Roman Catholicism. This is also exhibited in the short tale “A Good Man is Hard to Find” as discussed herein.
The story begins by Bailey’s grandmother trying to persuade him and his spouse to take their family for a tour in Tennessee rather than Florida. Her argument for the piece of advice is based on a story she locates in an article (O’Connor 73). According to the story, an old lag who had run away from the prison is also headed for a vocation in Florida, and he is worried about the safety of Bailey’s family if they choose to go to Florida for the tour. On the day of the trip, the grandmother dresses like a young lady and joins the family. The family later makes a stop at a restaurant whose owner, Red Sammy, complains of how untrustworthy people can sometimes be (O’Connor 73). Red Sammy’s wife also interjects the discussion between her husband and Bailey’s grandmother and says that she does not believe in any person, including her own husband, Red Sammy. They all conclude, “A good man is hard to find.”
When the family gets back into the car, the children beg their father to take them to a plantation described to them by the grandmother as having a secret board making it to be very fascinating (O’Connor 74). On their way to the woods, the grandmother frightens the cat that she had carried from home, and the cat escapes from the basket. Bailey gets terrified and crashes the car injuring his wife. Just at that point, Misfit’s crew unexpectedly attacks the family. A discussion arises between the grandmother and Misfit on whether the latter is a good man or not. Misfit confesses that he knows he is not a good man but also that he is not the worst. He claims he used to be a gospel vocalist until he was imprisoned for a crime he never committed (O’Connor 75). Misfit continues to engage the grandmother in more discussions, including whether Jesus raised the dead or not, while his colleagues, Hiram and Bobby Lee, continue to shoot the family members. Indeed, Misfit and his crew are not good men, thus the title, “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”
A good man is hard to find. How true is this statement? To answer this question, perhaps we must understand what really makes...