‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ is one of Flannery O’Connor’s most famous short stories that show the role of sin in distorting one’s true identity. In ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find,’ a family decides to go on a vacation to Florida. At first, the grandmother does not want to go there but instead wants to visit some friends in Tennessee as she heard that there’s a dangerous criminal named the Misfit. Later on, after deciding the destination she tries to convince her son Bailey to take a different route. But not even halfway through the route, the family got into a car accident and the family waits for help to come along.
For instance, it turns out that their ‘help’ was none other than the Misfit and two of his buddies. Unfortunately the whole family, excluding the grandma, is taken into the forest by the Misfit’s friends and killed. At this moment, the grandmother who is very mean in her maternal feelings as shown throughout the story, finally becomes a mother and gushes not only with love but also with affection to a stranger who actually murders her family. The final moment of her life is obviously transformational and reflects the irony portrayed in the story.
In fact, the true trip takes place within the life of the family. One issue that arises in the story is : what is a good man’s definition? And how few are left? Nobody is actually a hero and everybody is bad somehow. Although many of the story’s protagonists believe they are good people based on their mindset and life view but they are actually shallow people and we don’t feel that we like any of them. However, these moral codes are profoundly flawed, nobody changes or grows, they’re all disconnected, argumentative, fractious and insulting each other.
The grandmother who is quiet judgmental and superficial is the major character that we see the story mostly through her eyes. Although all the interesting and entertaining things that she says we don’t like her much because she thinks that just being a lady can be enough to prevent anything to happen to her and even stops the Misfit from killing her. She is so committed to her selfish and manipulative ways, convinces herself and her family, that she is a good judge on any matter of human nature.