"A Good Man Is Hard To Find"

708 words - 3 pages

Throughout most of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor, the grandmother is a discourteous character. She lies, insults, complains, and makes offensive remarks until the story is near over. Towards the end she goes through a dramatic change. The story begins with the grandmother complaining about going to Florida. She wanted to go to Tennessee and she made it clear to her son, Bailey, and his wife and children every chance she got: "'The children have been to Florida before . . . You ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They've never been to east Tennessee'" (Para 2). She is very stubborn. She would not be happy unless the family vacation was to east Tennessee. The grandmother was not forced to go with the family but she does not stay home. She is the first person in the car ...view middle of the document...

The grandmother tells them that the mansion has trap doors and other things that would interest children. She is also extremely ill - mannered. When the family passes the African American child on the porch the grandmother makes a racist remark. The grandmother voiced "Wouldn't that make a picture, now" (Para 17)? June Star, Bailey's daughter, said, "He didn't have any britches on" (Para 18). Then the grandmother answered, "He probably didn't have any . . . Little niggers in the country don't have things like we do. If I could paint, I'd paint that picture" (Para 19). How would she know that African Americans in the country would not have pants to wear? She doesn't and this statement makes her an ignorant person. It is not till almost the end of this short story when we see the first respectable remark made by the grandmother. But even before this sudden change the grandmother only cares about herself. She truly does not show any emotions before Bailey, his wife, and his children are killed, and now that she is starring down The Misfit's gun she begins to be concerned about her own life. The grandmother asked The Misfit to pray. She tells him that maybe they put him in prison by mistake but nothing she says he agrees with or does. Just before the grandmother is shot to death, she received a state of grace. "His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmother's head cleared for an instant. She saw the man's face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, 'Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children'" (Para 137)! The Misfit gave us reason to believe this when he said, "'She would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life'" (Para 141). The grandmother in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" was an ill-mannered old woman. She did not show any concern for anyone else. The only good thing about her is the state of grace she received moments before she died.

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