“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” Character Analysis on Grandmother

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor depicts the grandmother as an atypical figure, exhibiting qualities of manipulation, deceitfulness, and self-centeredness. Throughout the narrative, she adopts a role of omniscience and displays excessive sentimentality towards the past. The tale commences with her fervently persuading her family against vacationing in Florida, driven by a strong yearning to visit her Tennessee relatives.

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Initially, the grandmother displayed her self-centeredness by attempting to persuade her son Bailey in a deceitful manner. Instead of openly expressing her wish to go to Tennessee, she opted to mention the notorious serial killer called the Misfit in Florida. Tearfully, she expressed worry for the children’s safety during their journey to Florida and subtly implied that she would feel responsible if any harm befell them. However, her true motive was to manipulate Bailey into taking them all to Tennessee.

The grandmother took responsibility for her philosophy’s failure and blamed the children’s mother. She is determined to achieve her desired outcome, regardless of who may be hurt in the process. Despite Bailey expressing disinterest in bringing the cat to their chosen lodging, the grandmother disregarded his wishes and secretly brought the feline along on their trip. During their journey, she insisted on diverting to an old plantation.

The grandmother, sitting in the back, shared stories about the plantation with the children to spark their enthusiasm for an upcoming visit. However, her tales were filled with falsehoods and exaggerated details, leading Bailey to believe that they were going solely for the enjoyment of the children. The grandmother consistently embellished the truth throughout her narrative, deceiving not only herself but also her family with fictional stories. In doing so, she managed to fool herself into thinking that she was fully present in the current moment when in reality she lived primarily in memories of the past.

The grandmother chose to wear a vintage blue dress, complemented by a matching blue straw hat and white cotton gloves, for their trip. Her intention was to ensure that in the event of a fatal car accident, she would be easily identified as a lady. This remark reveals her self-centeredness and preoccupation with her outward appearance. Although captivated by Bailey’s choice to visit the plantation, the grandmother failed to inform him that it was situated in Tennessee instead of Georgia.

Following a severe car accident, the grandmother exhibited no indication of concern towards her family’s welfare. Rather, her sole preoccupation pertained to the level of anger Bailey would express towards her for misguiding them. She appeared to prioritize her own interests over those of her loved ones.

When the Misfit showed up, the grandmother stubbornly persisted in putting herself first and challenging him. Even though he had wanted to assist them after their mishap, she felt compelled to point out that she was aware of his dangerous nature.

The grandmother’s main concern was the Misfit’s change in behavior. She questioned him about whether or not he would shoot a lady. Despite the murder of her family, she did not beg the Misfit to spare her loved ones. Instead, she believed that because she was a lady, he would spare her life. Thus, her primary focus was on saving herself. In an attempt to manipulate the Misfit, she employed similar tactics as she had with her son, Bailey.

The grandmother consistently emphasized to the Misfit that he was a decent person and ought to pray, presenting herself as a kindly elderly woman despite knowing she wasn’t genuine. The Misfit saw past her insincere pleas and recognized that her behavior only stemmed from his possession of a gun. Without it, she would revert back to her self-focused, dishonest self. By declaring that the Misfit is akin to her own offspring, the grandmother displayed empathy and affection during a brief instance of comprehension. Sadly, this moment ultimately resulted in her demise.

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