A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

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In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," what do we learn about the possibility of change in the conversation between the Misfit and the grandmother?

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Christopher Jerde eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The defining theme of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is grace, which is the agent that changes the grandmother and possibly the Misfit as well.

The grandmother is a snobbish woman who obsesses over appearing to look like a lady and putting on airs. She is obsessed with social concerns and the material world, and she appears to think of no one but herself. However, her encounter with the Misfit is both tragic and redeeming.

At first glance, one might assume the grandmother would view herself as finer than the criminal Misfit, who speaks with a less sophisticated vocabulary. However, she comes to identify with his existential pain and feels compassion for him. When she says "you're one of my babies," she is admitting the shared humanity between...

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We learn that she is only selfless and nice when put in a situation that could kill her. Just like the Misfit says, "You'd be a good woman if you had a gun to your head everyday." Remember, it's the grandmotehr's fault that her family are dead.

 

 

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