A Good Man Is Hard To Find
by Flannery O'Connor
The grandmother didn't want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in
east Tennes- see and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey's mind. Bailey was the
son she lived with, her only boy. He was sitting on the edge of his chair at the table, bent over the
orange sports section of the Journal. "Now look here, Bailey," she said, "see here, read this," and
she stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head.
"Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward
Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn't take my
children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscience
if I did."
Bailey didn't look up from his reading so she wheeled around then and faced the children's
mother, a young woman in slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was
tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like rabbit's ears. She was
sitting on the sofa, feeding the baby his apricots out of a jar. "The children have been to Florida
before," the old lady said. "You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they
would see different parts of the world and be broad. They never have been to east Tennessee."
The children's mother didn't seem to hear her but the eight-year-old boy, John Wesley, a stocky
child with glasses, said, "If you don't want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?" He and
the little girl, June Star, were reading the funny papers on the floor.
"She wouldn't stay at home to be queen for a day," June Star said without raising her yellow
"Yes and what would you do if this fellow, The Misfit, caught you?" the grandmother asked.
"I'd smack his face," John Wesley said.
"She wouldn't stay at home for a million bucks," June Star said. "Afraid she'd miss something.
She has to go everywhere we go."
"All right, Miss," the grandmother said. "Just re- member that the next time you want me to curl
June Star said her hair was naturally curly.
The next morning the grandmother was the first one in the car, ready to go. She had her big black
valise that looked like the head of a hippopotamus in one corner, and underneath it she was
hiding a basket with Pitty Sing, the cat, in it. She didn't intend for the cat to be left alone in the
house for three days because he would miss her too much and she was afraid he might brush
against one of her gas burners and accidentally asphyxiate himself. Her son, Bailey, didn't like to
arrive at a motel with a cat.