To things in good spirits and entertain her

To start with, the grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” seems to be one of the characters that sticks out the most. She takes on a very innocent role, being the one to try and keep things in good spirits and entertain her family. In addition, she tries to pull herself off as someone who is innocent. She begins by observing, via media, that an inmate has escaped from a prison in Florida, which happens to be where her family is traveling to.

She is not hesitant to tell her family that they need not go to Florida, because of the misfit that has escaped. This really generates the typical idea of and elderly lady making a situation a bigger deal than need be, thus making her seem more of an innocent character. The elderly typically give off a sense of innocence, and the grandmother is no different in this story. In addition to that, her family is very rude to her in most circumstances, but she still brushes off their remarks and keeps a good word for the majority of the story.

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Her family seems to not pay any mind to her, and they ignore her thoughts and words as if she doesn’t matter at all. She wants the family to view her as innocent and take her thoughts and cares into consideration, and she puts on a show in order for her to be viewed this way. Her grandchildren are very disrespectful to her, but the love she has for them anyway is very clear to see. In addition, she pleas for her life when encountered with the misfit, still trying to make him believe that he is a good man. This bargain for her life adds to her innocence due to the kind words she uses instead of the more harsh words that her son used. This is why he is executed first.

She tries to see the good in the misfit, and still hold on to hope, even after she knows the rest of her family has been killed. The misfit in the story holds and obvious role as the villain. He has a very sneaky and evil tone and it is very evident that he is up to no good from the very beginning, before even knowing who he is. Although he may seem like he is believing and going along with the grandmother’s talk about how he is indeed a good person, it is soon very evident that he is far from that representation. He harshly orders Bailey, which is the Grandmother’s son, to be killed after he makes remarks towards the misfit. Soon after, Bailey’s wife is sent to be killed also. Not only are those two killed, but their three children are also killed with them. The misfit explains that children make him nervous, and they are sent away with their parents to their death, before killing the grandmother himself.

Children and the elderly are viewed in society as very valuable and anyone who mistreats them are looked down upon. The grandmother and grandchildren being killed is extremely harsh, and this is the ultimate gesture that names the misfit as an evil and villainous character in this story.To continue, the grandmother tries to make herself appear differently than how she is truly perceived. She sees herself as a proper, southern lady who is very uptight and classy. This portrayal of herself is very ironic because this is not how she truly is. She constantly uses racist language, lies, and is overall foolish.

For example, to avoid leaving her cat alone, she sneaks him into the car against her son’s wishes. She believes the cat is no harm to anyone, when actually the cat is the primary reason for the wreck of their car. She also wants to go to east Tennessee instead of Florida, so she makes up the excuse of the escaped misfit to try and steer her family away from the initial plans. The biggest flaw of the grandmother would have to be her foolish action of blurting out who the misfit actually is once she recognizes him, thus plummeting her family into a devastating fate of death. Not only are her characteristics full of dramatic irony and flaw, but she demonstrates situational irony also. Her whole point of not going to Florida was because of danger, however she leads her family into danger anyway. It was her idea to take a short detour down the dirt path towards the house she believed was at the end of the road, which she realizes actually is located in Tennessee.

This dirt road is where her cat jumps out of hiding onto her son, thus causing the car to crash. Not to mention, she lied to the children about a certain aspect of the house to encourage them to want to go also. Had she not been so foolish and lied, they would have never crashed, this never meeting the misfit to be killed. Another ironic situation is how the grandmother is talking to the restaurant owner, Red Sammy Butts, about how there are truly no good people left in the world.

However, she pleads for her life to the misfit by telling him how great of a person he is, and that she knows he has a good heart. She even tells him that she knows he came from a good home. She only does this for a selfish reason, but it is comical to see how she changes her views in a tight situation. It is very clear that the grandmother had a good heart and meant well, but she lacked comprehension.

To finish up, sticking together with family and having a decent and respectful relationship with them is essential. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” makes this very obvious, due to the lack of bond between the family placing them in a very tough and fatal situation. The family truly did not appreciate one another, and that was the root of many of their issues. Appreciation for your family is a very serious topic, and too many family members are unappreciated. Family will often stick around much longer than those who aren’t family, therefore it is so important to really hold value and respect for the people that are closest in life.

Tomorrow could be the last day for anyone, so appreciation should never come too late. Flannery O’Conner really upholds the importance of family and sticking together during a rough situation and that is clearly shown in this story.


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