The Grandmother In 'A Good Man Is Hard To Find'

Superior Essays
Monerh Shaabneh
Essay 3
Professor Holly-Wells
ENWR106-52
April 6, 2016 Guilty or Gracious? A Good Man Is Hard to Find is one of the many stories that may have readers questioning what they just read but is worth reading after it is understood. It is a bizarre story in itself but what intensifies the read is the peculiar character of the Grandmother. She not only reaches a terrible point in the story but it then becomes a terrifying moment in her life as well. The Grandmother’s choices throughout this unpleasant journey in the story leave the readers wondering if what happened was all her fault. The Grandmother resorts to motherhood and flattery in order to save herself from the Misfit’s terrible intentions, thinking it will cause
…show more content…
“The moral shoddiness of her action is almost beyond description. If we had not already guessed the depths to which the Grandmother might sink, now we know. It is not easy to say who is more evil, the Misfit or the Grandmother, and indeed that is the point. Her behavior is the manifest of her character” (Bandy, 1193). The Grandmother seems more evil than the Misfit because of the transition of her character throughout the story. Her devious plan of imitating a caring mother could have caught readers off guard. The Grandmother’s plan may have sounded like a bright idea in the beginning but as the scene went on, the Misfit saw right through her intentional plan. If she was smart, she would have stopped trying to convince the Misfit that he was a pure soul. The talk of the Misfit being a prophet and trying to bring out the ultimate good in him boiled his blood. He was fed up with her false accusations which is why he decided to shoot her. The Grandmother was a talker and wouldn’t have been shot if she kept her mouth closed. The Misfit had a point …show more content…
It may have seemed like she really cared for the Misfit and who he really was, but in fact the Grandmother did not. Her “morals” during that scene about Jesus and Christianity did not fit well with the type of character she was throughout the story. Thanks to her carelessness, confidence in being a lady, and shallow personality, the life of her loved ones were gone in the blink of an eye. If anything, it seemed like the Misfit saw the light than she ever did. He did not hide away from the realities of life but she did. The Grandmother never wanted to face any of life 's’ challenges. She had hypnotized herself into thinking that she was perfect and everything in her life would fall into place on its own if she simply thought that

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Although Misfit pauses and seems to ponder the thought of not killing her, the audience and Grandmother both know that her death is inevitable. Despite knowing she is going to die, she tells the Misfit how good of a man he is, and to just pray to God about everything that is going on in his life. The turning point for the audience, though, is when the Misfit says, “I was a different breed of dog from my brothers and sisters” (O’Connor). This makes Grandmother’s inevitable death even more…

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Misfit and the grandmother are similar when they are both talking to each other. She feels like she knows what he is going through and that maybe deep down he isn’t really cold hearted as he seems. The Misfit almost fells pity for the old woman but not enough to save her life. When it comes to hard times and being held at a life or death situation the grandmother becomes a totally different person than she was at the beginning of the story. The grandmother is a hypocrite in the ending of the story but in the beginning she comes off as a strong lady. The Misfit and the grandmother are both very vile in their own ways which makes them more unalike then they are alike. She believes the Misfit would never kill such a lady, but she isn’t all that she tries to…

    • 820 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It is one story in which the reader has trouble deciding who is right and who is wrong. O 'Connor makes her point "through spiritually or physically grotesque characters" (Kelley). The Grandmother is thought to be the hero by O’Connor herself, who said in a 1963 interview "the heroine of the story, the Grandmother, is in the most significant position life offers the Christian. She is facing death. And to all appearances she, like the rest of us, is not too well prepared for it. She would like to see the event postponed" (Votteler). But ultimately she becomes the piece 's second villain when her self-centered attitude causes harm to her kin. This short but impactful story teaches us that we all have a little of the grandmother inside. That part of the human mind that means well but can be hurtful to those around us. O 'Connor through this work helps humanity not to be unaware "misfits" by revealing what can happen when selfish attitudes go…

    • 1097 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The grandma saying anything she can to save herself, still in the end doesn’t save her. “You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?” and “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” (pg.413). Lady being described earlier in this analysis just comes back to her thinking her life is more valuable than everyone else’s, as well as saying his blood isn’t common so he must be from nice people. The grandmas reasoning of “nice people” and “lady’s” is simply made up from no one but herself. Her descriptions of the misfit of being a “good man” and coming from “nice people” change depending on who she is talking to and whatever situation she is in. Just as earlier in the story she talked about a gentleman being a “good man” only because he had bought Coca-Cola stock and has lots of money. Unfortunately for her, the misfit saw right through her and her lies and misconceptions. The grandma try’s one last time to sway him saying, “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!”. She then reached out and touches him on the shoulder and the misfit jumps back and shoots her in the chest. He then explains to his followers that “she would have been a good woman, if it had been somebody to shoot her every minute of her life”. Even though the misfit plays a escaped criminal in the story, he understands who the grandmas is and can see right through her. He realizes she is nothing but a fake and he believes he actually did her good by shooting…

    • 1362 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When the family faced in danger of being killed, no one think of god. Only the grandmother say something to pray Christ in order to avoid being killed. Firstly, the grandmother said Misfit is a good man, advised Misfit to pray Christ, and tried to use money to buy him. When the grandmother listening to the Misfit’s comments about the Jesus, she begin to doubt the Christ. The grandmother "suddenly awake head” in front of the shot. The "awake" implies the original concept collapses. The grandmother realize she is not better than others. Through the grandmother death, Misfit realized there are no real pleasure in life.…

    • 1113 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    . .” to reflect on the grandmother who is a manipulative and judgmental person. The beginning of the short story does for tale the family violent death. The grandmother fears the Misfit in the first paragraph of the story. The grandmother tries to use the fear to manipulate her family to go to Tennessee versus Florida. The Misfit is the character who does the violent actions in the short story. The Misfit is a mass murder that does not have a common family. The Misfit does not relate to the grandmother and her family dynamic. The Misfit has already lost his family. The grandmother tries to use family to change the Misfit mind about kill her. The grandmother with her being so easy to judge him at the begin does not judge the Misfit but reach out to him. The Misfit does engage in conversation with the grandmother. The Misfit rejects the grandmother calling her one of her babies by shooting the grandmother.…

    • 1123 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” decide whether the Grandmother or the Misfit is good and defend your answer with an example or two from the story.…

    • 1899 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The very first characteristic of the grandmother shown is how manipulative she is. In the beginning of the story the readers find out that the family is taking a trip to Florida and that the grandmother doesn’t wish to go there. So with out delay the grandmother goes to work trying to change Bailey, her son’s, mind. The grandma isn’t confrontational she is more subtle. She never comes right out and says, “I don’t want to go to Florida!” Instead she makes little indirect comments to Bailey to hopefully change his mind.“…The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here that 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…

    • 743 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The grandmother and The Misfit both fail to find remorse in their hearts for their actions and desires. Flannery O’Connor’s tale allows the audience to see the flaws in a person esteemed to be perfect, giving them the opportunity to assess their own hypocrisies and moral flaws. O’Connor’s portrayal of tradition and its emersion in to modern day society allows audiences to remember the good old days, and to question if a good man really is hard to find? O’Connor also leaves the audience with the answer that a good man really is not hard to find as long as you are willing to look a the soul of person rather than their initial actions that label them. The Misfit really was a good man in the sense that he stood firm in his beliefs and he was not a hypocrite. The Misfit was a criminal labeling him as bad, but down to the core he was a person and believer than the grandmother every was or ever hoped to…

    • 1439 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Misfit Quotes

    • 519 Words
    • 3 Pages

    She is self centered and doesnt care about anyone else. This quote shows the old lady trying to manipulate the misfit in the last seconds of her life and trying to get him to change his mind. "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!" She doesn't care about the Misfit. All throughout the book the whole family does things to accommodate her. For example they went to Tennessee because the grandma manipulated Bailey and Bailey didn't speak up for himself.…

    • 519 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This article by Stephen Bandy analyses and finds the meaning behind the grandmother’s last words. Bandy states that there is doubt that there are Christian influences in this story but that is not his main point. Bandy states that there are truly only two characters, the grandmother and the Misfit. He goes into deep detail about the personality and actions of the corrupted grandmother. On the outside, she seems as if she is a sweet old lady, but the reality is that…

    • 804 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “She knew that Bailey would not be willing to lose any time looking at an old house, but the more she talked about it, the she wanted to see it once again and find out if the little twin arbors were still standing””(O’Connor 455). She is the one who insisted on turning back to see the old plantation. Once again it shows how self-centered and selfish she is. When they meet with Misfit, grandmother is the one who recognizes him. If she was smart enough to be quite Misfit probably would let them go. Grandmother tries to use her manipulative techniques on him but it doesn’t help. It looks like he i enjoys seeing her begging for own life. She is trying to save herself by pleading to Misfit “You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!”(O’Connor 461). All the talking that she does has no affect on him. As she contemplates her fate she reaches out for God and forgiveness. Misfit brings out the best of grandmother. She is finally showing care for someone other than herself. At the end, she reaches out to the Misfit and tells him “You’re one of my own children” (O’Connor 462). He shrinks from it and kills her saying that she would have been a good woman if she had a gun pointed to her head all the…

    • 677 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She was afraid that they would come in contact with The Misfit, which was a serial killer. On the way to Florida the grandmother insisted on going to a plantation she once knew, when she was younger. She manipulated the kids into wanted to visit the plantation. She lied about secret passages on the plantation where they kept the family’s silver. The children then begged to the parent to visit the plantation. Once the family took the route the grandmother insisted on, “…a horrible thought came to her. The thought was so embarrassing that she turned red in the face and her eyes dilated…” (O’Conner 4). At the same moment the family had an accident. They came face to face with the Misfit, but the family was unaware of whom they were talking to. They thought that the man came to helped them, yet the whole family was in a dangerous situation. At this point in time the grandmother focuses for her life. Not even for once instant was she concerned for the wellbeing of her family. As a result of her pride, the whole family suffered the consequences. Perhaps if the grandmother had been less prideful the would not have detour to see the plantation; her prideful ways cost her and her loved ones their…

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The Misfit and his henchmen are escaped convicts. The Misfit is fundamentally the complete opposite to the grandmother. He spends his time pondering life and how this all reflects on in his life. One of the most profound statements he says in the entire story is, “I ain’t a good man, but I ain’t the worst in the world neither,” (O’Conner, 1955, 117). With this one statement the character is stating that he does not think he is “good”, yet he also does not feel he is “bad” either. He simply lives in the grey area in-between either good or bad people. He has questioned the reality and ideology of Jesus and if he really brought people back from the dead. ““Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead,” The Misfit continued, “and He shouldn’t have done it. He thown everything off balance.”” (O’Connor, 1955, 117). The Misfit is described as having scholarly glasses and a possible well educated background. He tells the grandmother, “I was raised by decent people.” (O’Connor, 1955, 117) In order to feel like his life has meaning he has chosen to be cruel to…

    • 1435 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When he realizes the punishment is always disproportionate to the crime and that “the crime, in the end, doesn’t even really matter” (Flannery 14), he establishes a moral code that is horrific and violent that follows “No pleasure but meanness” (Flannery 12). He believes there is no such thing called “fair” in the world “Jesus shown everything off balance” (Flannery 14). The misfit also challenges religious beliefs and thinks deeply about how he should be follow them or not. His thinking process and clear consideration makes her moral code a rigid one. Therefore, it appears to be easy for him to make decisions and evaluate his action when he meets the family and kill them all on the road. He kills that grandma and the family because he has been labeled as a criminal by the society, therefore no matter he commits a crime or not he will always be the criminal “I called myself The Misfit because I can’t make what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment” (Flannery 13). “Misfit” is also the first word the grandma says when she sees the misfit. The misfit quickly make the decision to kill them all when he is recognized by the grandma. It is not a hard decision for him to kill all the people since his moral code is about no pleasure but meanness and furthermore the existence of the family bring threat to…

    • 1193 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics