In "A Good Man is Hard to Find" how does O'Connor portray the grandmother?            '

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

O' Connor portrays the grandmother as a selfish, whiny, judgmental, and prejudiced old lady that weasles everyone into getting her way.  She is the reason that the family goes off route to try to find the old plantation that she remembered from her childhood; hence the reason that the car accident happens and they run into the Misfit and his gang.  But O'Connor made the grandmother despicable on purpose; one of the main points of the story is that everyone-even annoying, racist, unlikeable people-can achieve some sort of salvation in the end.  As the grandmother faces her demise at the hands of the Misfit, she starts talking about Jesus and finally states, "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children."  This last line of hers might be referring to a sort of pre-death clarity she had about Jesus, that she is one of His children, as was the Misfit.  So, the grandmother received some sort of peace or redemption, some sort of revelation before her death, even though she was awful.  So, her fate was being shot to death, and if we disliked her enough we might say that she had it coming; saying she deserved it is a bit harsh.  Whether she did or didn't deserve that fate, she still received that last bit of vision before she died.

I included links to some character analysis, and to criticisms of the story, and you might find some help in there too.

Read the study guide:
A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question