A Good Man Is Hard to Find Book Summary

 "A Good Man Is Hard to Find Summary", it is a Southern gothic short story first published in 1953 by author Flannery O'Connor who, in her own words, described it as "the story of a family of six which, on its way driving to Florida [from Georgia], is slaughtered by an escaped convict who calls himself the Misfit".

"A Good Man Is Hard to Find Book" was first published in 1953 in the multi-author short-story anthology Modern Writing I published by Avon. The story appears in her own collection of short stories A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories published in 1955 by Harcourt. In 1960, it was included in the anthology The House of Fiction, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, and later included in numerous other short-story collections.

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find Summary

A Good Man Is Hard to Find Summary

It's time for a family trip of some kind, and there's a disagreement in the family about where to go. Bailey wants to take his family, (i.e., his wife, baby, and two kids, John Wesley and June Star), to Florida. His mother, called simply "the grandmother," doesn't want to go there.

To make her case, she mentions that there's a dangerous criminal named The Misfit on the loose, and that he's headed that way. No one seems to take her especially seriously—after all, she's just the grandma.

The next morning, it's off to Florida they go. Everyone piles in the car, including the grandmother, who seems to have acquired some enthusiasm for the trip. (She's also secretly stowed away her cat, Pitty Sing.) They hit the road and begin the trip from Georgia to Florida.

During the trip the grandmother plays games and tells stories to the kids. They stop at a restaurant to eat, and converse a bit with the owner, Red Sammy, and his wife. The grandmother talks with the couple about how hard it is to trust people and find "good men" these days. She also talks a bit about The Misfit.

Back on the road, the grandmother gets the kids all excited by telling them about an old plantation she once visited that's located nearby. The kids convince the reluctant Bailey to take them all to see it. He turns onto a dirt road, which, the grandmother assures him, leads to the plantation.

After following the road for a while they don't see anything. Suddenly, the grandmother remembers that the plantation isn't here at all—it's actually in Tennessee. She is so startled by this realization (which she doesn't tell anybody), that she jerks, letting her cat out of the basket where she's stowed it. The animal is propelled onto Bailey's shoulder. A dramatic accident follows, as the car veers off the road and flips over.

As June Star laments, however, no one is killed.

The family waits for a car to come along, and sure enough, one does. Only it's not quite the help they were expecting. It turns out that their "help" is none other than The Misfit and two of his buddies. The grandmother recognizes The Misfit, and tries to convince him he's a good man who couldn't possibly want to do anything to harm them. The Misfit orders Bailey and John Wesley into the woods, where his cronies shoot them. The mother, the baby, and June Star soon follow.

All the while, the grandmother, increasingly dizzy and in shock, talks with The Misfit, still trying to convince him he's a good man, and telling him he should pray to Jesus. This gives The Misfit the opportunity to tell a bit of his personal history and offer some his ideas on Jesus, about whom he's actually done some thinking. The grandmother, detecting a moment of vulnerability in him is suddenly moved to call him her child and reaches out to touch him. The Misfit responds by promptly shooting her three times in the chest.

The story ends with him telling his cronies, who've returned from shooting the others, to dump her body with the rest. "She would've been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life," he says.

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Questions about A Good Man Is Hard to Find Plot

What is the moral lesson of A Good Man is Hard to Find? The moral lesson of ''A Good Man is Hard to Find'' is that actions have consequences. The grandmother lies to her family continuously and unknowingly leads them into the path of the Misfit. Her selfishness in wanting to see the plantation at the end leads to their senseless deaths.

What is the theme of death in A Good Man is Hard to Find? The death theme in A Good Man Is Hard to Find has also been utilized by the narrator to show grace and misplacement of grace in the story. It is the very notion of death which brings grandmother to recognize Misfit as one of her children.

Who is the main character in A Good Man is Hard to Find? The grandmother is the central character in the story. She's the focus of the narrative, the character whose reactions we hear the most about, as well as the only character who's head we get inside (although not too deeply). It's also the grandmother who confronts "evil" in the form of The Misfit.

What was the purpose in the title of A Good Man is Hard to Find? In literal interpretation, the title symbolizes the absence of good people among the characters. Or, taken globally, it refers to a small number of good people in the world. A Good Man is Hard to Find (1953) is the most famous story by Flannery O'Connor.

What is the religious meaning of A Good Man is Hard to Find? In this context, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" may end grotesquely, but the allusion to Psalm 103 foreshadows hope in the sense that the grandmother will have an opportunity to experience eternal life when she comes face to face with death.

What is the irony in A Good Man Is Hard to Find? Answer: The main source of dramatic irony in A Good Man is Hard to Find is the way the grandmother sees herself. She views herself as an elegant, proper, and wise southern lady, but the author quickly shows the reader that the grandmother is far from a good person, due to her deceitful behavior and racist views.

Who is the villain in A Good Man is Hard to Find? The Misfit is definitely the bad guy: he's a murderer, after all. What's more, he's a criminal who seems to do bad things for the sake of doing bad things without remorse. He's the one who confronts, threatens, and kills the family of the protagonist, and ultimately the protagonist herself.

What does the misfit believe in A Good Man is Hard to Find? The misfit in Flannery O'Connor's story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” has a very different view of crime and punishment. He believes that Jesus put everything “off-balance” as he put it. He thinks that Jesus was innocent and punished anyway, so there is no justice because the punishment never fits the crime.

Who says A Good Man is Hard to Find in the story? Red Sam says, “A good man is hard to find.” He and the grandmother lament the state of the world. Back in the car, the grandmother wakes from a nap and realizes that a plantation she once visited is nearby.

Who are the five main characters in a good man is hard to find? The five main characters in Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" include The Grandmother, The Misfit, Bailey (her son), and the two grandchildren, June Star and Hogn Wessly. There are several minor characters, including the children's mother, Red Sammy and his wife, and killers Hiram and Bobby Lee.

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