Good Man is Hard to Find
Flannery O’Connor’s story "A Good Man is Hard to Find," is about a
family taking a trip to Florida that all get killed by an escaped convict, how
calls himself the Misfit, and two of his friends. In this story the reader may
assume some of the men in the story is the man the title refers to, but as the
story unfolds, and the family continues on their journey, every man on the story
displays a considerable fault. With Regard’s to Flannery O’Connor’s short
story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" this essay will analyze the narrator’s

Irony, main characters, foreshadowing, and some symbolism. There are several
ironies dispersed in O’Conners short story. At the beginning, the grandmother
is opposed to go to Florida on vacation, but when the time arrived to depart,
she is the first passenger seated in the car. Another example is the entire time
she is trying to change her son Bailey’s mind, she used a prison escape as the
primary reason not to proceed to Florida, and ironically, they confront the
fugitive in a strange twist of fate. In another instance, the grandmother
insists on taking her cat on vacation with her and her justification for having
to take the cat is that the cat could brush against on to the burners, turn them
on and suffocate himself. The cat, is in fact, the perpetrator that causes the
accident and near the end of the story when the family meets with foul play, the
cat is the only survivor. Irony again is presented when they are driving. The
grandmother cautions Bailey about his driving and it so happens they have an
accident. As soon as the grandmother talks Bailey into taking a turn to see the
farmhouse, Bailey makes the statement, "This is the only time we are going to
stop for anything like this" (A Good Man is Hark to Find pg. 359). The irony
here is Bailey did not know how final that statement would turn out to be. Near
the beginning of their trip, the family stops at a restaurant. The owner tells
how some men stopped by a short time ago and follows this up with saying,

"These boys looked all right to me" (A Good Man is Hard to Find pg. 357).

Then at the end of the story the grandmother pleads with the misfit that he is a
good man. The owner of the restaurant also makes a comment about the car that
the Misfit was driving also. He explains it as an old beat up black car, and
after the family has their accident the car that comes to the scene is a big
black hearse-like car. The main characters are the grandmother, Bailey, and the
misfit. The grandmother is an important, if not the most important character.

She is a woman that manipulates both family as well as strangers throughout the
entire story. In the beginning, when the family has their minds set on going to

Florida, she tries everything feasible to change their minds to go to Tennessee.

She uses the story about the Misfit escaping from prison and then she tries to
rationalize by saying that the kids have been to Florida before and Tennessee
would let them see other parts of the world. The grandmother then wants to see a
farmhouse, and she hounds Bailey and tells the children an unrealistic story
about silver hidden in the house to entice the children into agreeing with her
proposal. Bailey eventually gives in and turns off the road. At the end of the
story, the grandmother tries to manipulate the Misfit into thinking he is a good
man so he would not harm her. Ironically he shoots her in the chest three times
with his gun. She could manipulate no more. Bailey on the other hand has to
drive the entire trip and listen and put up with all of this. He’s has two
brat children screaming in his ear about the farmhouse and the hidden silver
there grandmother lied to them about. Bailey’s mother constantly warning him
on the way he drives and also adding how badly she would like to see this
farmhouse also. Now the Misfit is a man that was put into prison for killing his
own father. Now, he does not remember or want to believe what he did. He tells
the grandmother no matter what anyone does they will forget what it is they have
done and eventually be