“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” Character Analysis on Grandmother Essay
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” Flannery O’Conner portrayed the unnamed grandmother in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” as a very manipulative, deceitful and selfish old woman, unlike an average grandmother. Grandmother posed as a “know it all” woman who bases her life on the past. In the beginning of the short story, the grandmother tries her hardest to change the families mind about traveling to Florida for a vacation because “she” wants to go to Tennessee to meet some of her relatives.
Her trying to change her sons, Bailey’s, mind was the first sign of the grandmother’s selfishness. The grandmother avoids telling Bailey her reason for wanting to travel to Tennessee, so she goes by saying there is a serial killer, the Misfit, on the loose in Florida. She sobs about how “she couldn’t answer to her conscience if she took the children in a direction where there was a convict on the loose. ” Her intentions were to guilt trip Bailey about taking the children to Florida; therefore she could have her way.
After realizing that her philosophy wasn’t working she decided to blame the mother of the children. The grandmother will do whatever it takes to get her way, and she doesn’t care who feelings will be harmed. The grandmother decided to go on the trip anyways and bringing her deceitful ways, by sneaking her cat in the car after Bailey told her he didn’t want to take the cat into wherever they decided to lodge. As they traveled the grandmother decided that she wanted to take a detour to an old plantation.
The grandmother sat in the back describing the plantation to the children, with intentions to build their urge to want to stop. She filled their heads with white lies about where they were going to make Bailey think they were going for the excitement of the children. The grandmother tried to stretch the truth as much as she possibly could. Throughout the story the grandmother consistently lied to herself and her family. She lied to herself by thinking she was living in the presents but she was actually living in the past.
On their trip the grandmother dressed in an old fashioned blue dress with a matching blue straw hat and white cotton gloves. She stated, “in case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady. ” Her statement showed how self-centered she was and how she only thought about herself and her appearance. Caught in the hype of Bailey finally deciding to stop by the plantation the grandmother fails to tell Bailey that the plantation was not in Georgia but in Tennessee.
After being faced a serious car accident the grandmother doesn’t act of caring if her family was alright, all she thinks about is Bailey being mad at her for taking them the wrong way. The grandmother doesn’t care about any of their well beings; she is all she cares about. Once the grandmother is encountered with the Misfit she continues to go about with her mouthy self-centered ways. The Misfit only intentions were to help the family because of their accident, but the grandmother had to make sure that he knew that she knew he was dangerous.
After the behavior of the Misfit began to shift the grandmother first question was “You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you? ”, again, forgetting about her family and only concerned about herself. When the Misfit murders her family, the grandmother not once pleaded him to not harm her children and grandchildren. The grandmother felt that the Misfit would spare her, her own life because she was a lady, so she focused on saving her own life. She then went about trying to manipulate the Misfit as how she had done her own son, Bailey.
The grandmother repeatedly told the Misfit that he was a good man and that he should pray, as she portrayed a nice old lady that she knew she wasn’t. The Misfit could see right through her phony and fake plead. He knew that the grandmother was only behaving such a way because she was facing death and if it had not been for his gun she would still be self-centered, deceiving self. The grandmother tells the Misfit that he is “one of her own children,” she is showing him that she is experiencing a moment of compassion and love. There the grandmother had her moment of understanding which resulted in her death.