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A Goodman is Hard to Find is a story written by, Flannery OConnor. Flannery O'Connor was born in Georgia, in 1925. As a teenager, she moved to Atlanta with her family. She began studying at Georgia State College for Women, when O'Connor was a young woman. She was enthusiastic writer. In the college, she started working for the student newspaper and wrote stories. She published her first story when she was twenty-one. The name of the story was "The Geranium." after publishing this story she won an award for it, and she signed her first contract for her first novel. O'Connor received her degree in 1947. She published her first collection of short stories, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, in 1955. This short story set an example of Southern Gothic literature, which includes strange events, eccentric characters, and local color to create a moody and unsettling depiction of life in the American South. In this story, the family is planning to go in a vacation in Florida, in the area, same as an escaped criminal. The grandmother tries to convince the family not to go Florida, and she directs them onto a deserted road, where they met with an accident when a cat jumps out of the basket. In this particular story, a grandmother's character is very selfish, stubborn, and immature.
Grandmother is selfish, because throughout the story, she is trying to manipulate her son, her son's wife, as well as Misfit. The whole time in the story, she does everything on her self-interest, disregarding what other thinks. When passing the cotton field with few graves, she indicates Bailey that this was the old family burying ground, which belonged to the plantation. However, later she realizes that plantation is in different state. Even though when she realizes that she was mistaken, she did not correct herself. She was also telling the children a story, to keep them all quite. Biggest mistake of the grandmother in the story was that she recognized the Misfit. When Misfit tries to kill her, she also tries to convince him that he is not the Misfit, because he is good person at the heart. Bailey tried to make her quite, but she kept on going. She thought that she would convince the Misfit to let them go, but instead she annoyed the Misfit. She also tries to give the Misfit all the money that she had. She thought that the Misfit would let her go alive if she gives him all the money. The misfit must have thought that he cloud have all the money after killing her as well, because if he let her go alive, then she might report it to the police, and that would make it easier to catch the him. From this, anyone can assume that, she is selfish, because she does not think about anybody else, but herself.
A Grandmother in this story, is a stubborn, in fact, she is a manipulator. First thing that comes up in the beginning of this story is that grandmother does not want to go Florida. However, she wants to go East Tennessee, to visit her relatives. Narrator writes that, "She was seizing every chance to change Bailey's mind" (97). She was trying to convince her one and only son, Bailey to go East Tennessee. She does not say to his son directly that she does not want to go Florida; instead, she wants to go East Tennessee to visit her relatives. She finds her own way to try to convince her son. When he was sitting on a chair at the table, grandmother tells him," 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" (97). By saying this, she tries to manipulate her son, and tries to scare him, so she can convince him to go East Tennessee. Bailey does not reply her; he was just busy reading the sport section of the journal. Grandmother's first trick did not work out on his son; so, she said to children's mother, "The children have been to Florida before" (97). "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" (97), by saying this, she was trying to convince the children to go East Tennessee. The children's mother did not hear this but one of children, the eight-year-old boy told grandmother to stay home, if she does not want to go Florida. There is one more thing that reader must have noticed that, she brought her cat to the trip, even though her son did not want her to take the cat with her. She hides the cat in the basket and she kept it hidden under the seat. From this, anyone can say that grandmother is immature, and she does what she wants to do, disregarding what others thinks.
Grandmother's character is very immature in this particular story. Grandmother considers herself, a lady, throughout the story. She was well dressed and "her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her necklace, she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady" (98). She is well dressed like a lady of an old south. She also thinks that if she dies, she must die looking like a lady. She also tell this to Misfit when she sees him. By saying this to the Misfit, she wants Misfit not to kill her, she asks him, "You wouldn't shoot a lady, would you?" (104). this clearly shows grandmother does not want to be considered as a grandmother, but she thinks she is a young lady. She thinks that she can wear new clothes, and if she looks nice, she will look like a respected young lady. She also thinks that being well dress, also considered as a respectful. In story, she says this to her grandchildren, "In my time, children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then" (98). She is old; she thinks that she is a young lady. This is one more reason that she still sees the thing the way they were in the past. She still thinks that everybody whose appearance is nice and wearing a good clothes, are good people. She thinks that same way when she encounters with the Misfit and she says, "Listen," the grandmother almost screamed, "I know you're a good man. You don't look a bit like you have common blood. I know you must come from nice people!" (104). that is how she thinks that Misfit is a good person. She is telling the Misfit to pray to Jesus, and Jesus will help him. However, the Misfit said that he does not want any help, and he wanted make the things right by himself. From this, we can assume that the Misfit did not believe in a god. After grandmother hears final rounds of shots that killed her family members, she tries to tell the Misfit that he is one of her son. Annoyed Misfit shots her three times in the chest. Till the end of the story, the selfish and immature grandmother was trying to manipulate the Misfit.
A grandmother's character in this story is like a little child, who makes choice based on self-interest, does what she wants, without thinking about the effects on people around her. All the time, in the story she manipulates her son, the Misfit, and the children. She brought the cat, even though her son did not want her to. She tries to convince the Misfit into thinking that he is one of her son. She wants to look a young lady, is she dies in the road trip. She was responsible for the murder of her family, because she identified the person as a Misfit. Grandmother is the cause of all the trouble and the murder of her family. "A Goodman is Hard to Find" the title itself is an irony, because a goodman is not just hard to find, but it is impossible to find a good man in the society that we live. Our society is full of the people, who make decision based on their self-interest, disregarding the effects of their decision on the other people in this society.