In the story A Good Man Is Hard to Find the grandmother considers herself to be a lady as well as a good person. The grandmother does not think it’s a good idea for the family to go to Florida with a criminal, the Misfit, on the loose and says that she “’couldn’t answer to [her] conscience if [she] did’” (O’Connor 454). On the trip the grandmother is dressed in a blue dress and a wide brimmed hat, even though she was reluctant to go on the trip she was the first in the car. The grandmother says that she is dressed this way so that,”’ [i]n case of an accident, anyone seeing her lying dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady’” (455). Although the grandmother considers herself to be a good person she often appears to be
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She tries to reach out to him by calling him “one of [her] babies” which is a sign of grace and symbolizes her path to salvation which God has forced her to take (465). The Misfit then tells her that if God saved man all she has to do to save herself is to give up everything she has and follow him. The grandmother then finds herself questioning the work of Jesus, which tells us that she is not a true believer. In the end the Misfit kills her and he says that, “’she could have been a good person if there was somebody there to shoot at her every minute of her life’” (467). The grandmother who was the last person to die is the only one to realize the divine message behind the Misfit’s words. He tells us that it is better to be either one way or the other, because in the end only God’s grace can save you, not just being a good person. This shows that only Godliness can cause one to be a good person and that to live life without spirituality is to not live at all.
O’Conner, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense Ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. 9th ed. Boston: Michael Rosenberg, 2006.