There are varying opinions of "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Most of this discrepancy centers on the grandmother's act of touching the Misfit. The dominant opinion is that the grandmother's final act was one of grace and charity, which implies that "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" was written to show a transformation in the grandmother as the story progresses. In the beginning, she was more concerned about looking like a good Christian than being a good Christian. This is shown by her selfish desire to go to Tennessee instead of Florida and, more importantly, by her attempts to save her own life, even as her family continued to die around her (made worse by the fact that if she had kept her mouth shut, none of them would have been killed). In the end, she realizes she has not led a good life and reaches out to touch her killer, the Misfit, in a final act of grace and charity. Even though she fails, her attempt is not lost on the Misfit, who remarks that through enduring a constant of violence, she would have been a good woman if there had been someone to shoot her every day.  A second opinion on the issue is that the grandmother's final act was not an act of charity and that she is yet again trying to save herself from being murdered. Some say that Flannery O'Connor uses the excuse as the grandmother's final "moment of grace" to save the story from the bloodshed and violence.  It is also pointed out that by the time the grandmother touches the Misfit, proclaiming he is her son, he is wearing Bailey's shirt. Other opinions include that it is contradictory of her character or that she was simply again trying to save herself and that her selfishness was never overcome throughout the story.  A third opinion is that the grandmother has many faults but unlike the rest of the family she tries to be a good person and treats her family with respect even when they ignore her. Even when she manipulates the children so they will want to go see the house she wanted to see it is stated that "She said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were". The grandmother feels that to get anything she has to manipulate her family to get it, which is something she doesn't want to do. Also the grandmother is the only one to provide both entertainment and discipline for the children while their parents simply ignore them.
A Good Man Is Hard to Find | Introduction 1. Printable Version 2. Download PDF 3. Cite this Page 4. Ask a Question 5. Tweet This Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" first appeared in the author's short story collection by the same name, which was published in 1955. Since then, it has become one of O'Connor's most highly regarded works of short fiction because it exhibits all the characteristics for which she is best known: a contrast of violent action with humorously and carefully drawn characters and a philosophy that underscores her devout Roman Catholic faith.
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- A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Short story, grandmother, Misfit