Good Man Is Hard To Find

In Flanney O’Conner’s, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" a great deal of
irony is used to express her views on how society and culture in the present day
and how it has changed from the past. O’Connor used the family’s grandmother
as a key component in the story because of her personality and also because of
her old age. She was able to show her feeling about the deterioration of respect
for family and elders through the grandmother. The tale’s idea explores into
deeper things then just respect. As the story continues many spiritual
observations are made and the regards to how the "old South" views on
religion and "common blood" used to be. The beginning of the story is an
important part because the reader is first exposed to the idea that the
grandmother is little respected or listened to by any of the family members. She
begins by challenging the family against taking a trip to Florida, because she
had just learned a crazed killer by the name of the Misfit who is on the run
into that area. When this argument is brought forth to the family, "Bailey
didn’t look up from his reading, so she wheeled around then and faced the
children’s mother" (232) who also showed the same interest and respect as
the father did. One important element in this scene was when the grandmother
made this remark. She was astounded that her son would be willing to take his
family into such a place with possible danger and remarked with, "I wouldn’t
take my children in any direction with a criminal like that a lose in it. I
couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did" (232). At first interpretation
most readers probably thought was just a way for the grandmother to get out of
going on the trip, although it was an example for the author to show how family
life had changed from her time. Even with changing family styles, grandparents
are a group of people who are usually admired and looked up to by family
members, and a favorite of young children. The aspect of this story that made it
even more powerful was the authors chose to include the children in playing a
role that was much similar to their older counterparts. This put a big emphasize
on the how life’s morals are transferred from one generation to the next. She
wanted the reader to see how the people the parents were could be seen in the
attitude of the children. As the trip to Florida begins grandmother settles in
for the car ride and keeps herself occupied by taken in and enjoying the county,
its sites, and informing the others about its history. Around this time, the
children begin to reveal themselves as brats, and illustrate the lost respect
and discipline. June Star and her brother begin slapping each other and the
grandmother. Without say from the children’s parents, the grandmother takes it
upon herself to keep the peace between them, by telling them a story of a black
child mistakenly eating her watermelon with initials from a suitor carved in it
reading E.A.T. At one point John Wesley says: "Let’s go through Georgia fast
so we don’t have to look at it much, John Wesley said. "If I were a little
boy," said the grandmother, "I wouldn’t talk about my native state that
way. Tennessee has the mountains and Georgia has the hills." "Tennessee is
just a hillbilly dumping ground, "John Wesley said, "and Georgia is a lousy
state too." "You said it, "June Star said. This comment made by the
children got under the grandmother’s skin. She tried to explain to them that
in her time children were more respectful of their native states and to their
parents. "People did right then" (233). The families encounter with Red

Sammy serves as another outlet for O\'Connor to express how trust and respect
have begun to wear away. As Red and the grandmother began to discuss better
times, they seem to be close in age relationship. Their discussion leads them to
learn they both share the same views that modern life and society have been
changing for the worse. Red Sammy explained, "A good man is hard to find.

Everything is getting terrible. I remember the day you could go off and leave
your screen door unlatched. Not no more" (235). A perfect example of the
situation which Red and the grandmother spoke about was when Red Sam’s wife
was admiring how