Good Man is Hard To Find Summary


Flannery O’Connor is famous for her own brand of writing which incorporates unfortunate events while at the same time providing lessons to the readers. One of her most acclaimed works is the narrative ‘A Good Man is hard to Find’. In this book, O’Connor incorporates her well known style of writing with the story of a callous murder of a family. The result is a masterpiece text that is one of the most widely read novels of modern time.

In the book, an impatient grandmother, who presumably lives with the son, Bailey, his wife and kids, is having a disagreement over the location of a vacation that her family intends to take. Over the course of the text, the grandmother is revealed as one who rides on manipulation to have her wishes granted. The two children, John Wesley and June Star appear to be spoilt, and in need of urgent parental attention, an aspect that lacks since their mother, Bailey’s wife, appears impassive and out of touch with the family. The attitude of their mother can be attributed to the manipulative tendencies of the grandmother. Bailey on the hand appears tight-lipped and secretive.

The grandmother’s selfish attitude manifests in a number of ways in the novel in the first instance; she attempts to coerce Bailey into changing the location of the vacation to Tennessee. She advances notions that Tennessee is not safe since a criminal, Misfit, has escaped jail and is headed there. Secondly, she insists on talking to the criminal to save her own life without having regard to the other members of the family who end up dying.

There are valuable lessons that can be derived from this narrative, especially from the main character, the grandmother. Initially, she tells the children that she intends to dress well in a dress so that when she dies, she can be recognized as a woman. This reveals her real being; as an individual that is more concerned with the outward appearance than she is with the inner one. The perception, however, changes when she states that a good man is hard to find and even reaches out to try and convince the Misfit that killing her would not be the right thing to do.

O’Connor’s books have always been characterized by religious insinuations, and this was not lost on the readers. Some of the readers have, over time, made an attempt to illustrate the meaning of the text to be a religious one. They have advanced the views that the story with the grandmother as the central character teaches that all people have a chance to prove their worth before death.