Family in Short Story "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

"A Good Man is hard to find” is a short narrative which was written by Flannery O’Connor (1953). The story focuses on a family who faces difficulty in agreeing with one another on where to go for a vacation. The grandmother wants the family to take a trip to Tennessee, but the other family mothers ignore her request and protest to take a trip to Florida. The real journey can be said to take place in their family lives. An important question came up in the story “What is the definition of a good man and how they are few of them left in the entire world?” Most of the character in this story linked themselves to goop people based on their codes of moral they stand for and by.

The characters are blinded by their deeply flowed moral codes because of their own self- virtue.

Grandmother is the main character in the story because she gives the audience the exact definition to be a lady.

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Grandmother recognizes herself to have the best values because she is a Christian woman. During the entire trip she completely overdresses in a “navy straw hat and collars and cuffs, so that if there were an accident, people would know she was a lady” (368). The author affirms how she looks down to other people such that she criticizes the mother for not talking children on a trip to different places during vacation and also tells John Wesley to respect his parent and native state. Her definition of a good man is overflowed because she would marry Edgar Teagarden because he was rich.

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She asks Misfit to pray for himself when he is killing her family members. Ironically, she does not beg Misfit to spare her family members or even pray for them, yet she sees herself to be a good manse is more concerned about saving herself “you wouldn’t kill a lady would you” (373) instead of her family.

Misfit in the course of the narrative remains to be a mystery character. He is a murder and an escaped convict who is believed to be heading to Florida just like the grandmother’s family. He comes across the family after their car crash, He (Misfit) want to help them fix their car and send them on their journey. The Grandmother upon seeing him, she remembers seeing him on a newspaper and shouts he is the Misfit, his plans had to change and had to kill every member of the family. He carries a conversation with the grandmother and affirms that he does not seem to seen actions regarding Right and wrong because “I’m not a good man, but I’m not the worst either” (374). The attitude of Misfit towards morality makes him depict of the title that “a Good Man is hard to find.” Despite acknowledging to praying to Jesus, he went ahead and shot the grandmother. Misfit might have changed after this encounter and started seeing actions as right and wrong.

Bailey is the son of the grandmother and father to John Wesley and John Wesley. He is a frustrated individual with a constant disturbance from the family, and he is not interested in what they want. He shows no original thought and follows them to Florida. He reluctant to take the trip but does not voice his reasons, because he seems an irritable and weary figure worn out by the constant family conflict “I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that a loose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did” (346). During the encounter with Misfit, Bailey is unable to rescue her family leaving them to die.

In conclusion, I learned that people believe to be the center of the universe and do not always to those around them. The characters had a flawed definition of a good man, and the family should be able to make a candid decision as a group. Every individual in the family was selfish and ignored the input of others. The killing experience portrays the real title of the short narrative that a good man is hard to find.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Family in Short Story "A Good Man is Hard to Find". (2021, Mar 06). Retrieved from

Family in Short Story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" essay
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