How is the grandmother characterized early on in A Good Man is Hard to Find?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The grandmother, in the first part of the story, is characterized as having anxieties--she worries about news reports of the Misfit being on the loose and sneaks her cat into the car for the road trip because she fears he might "accidentally asphyxiate himself." However, she is anything but a scaredy-cat. She asserts herself forcefully and energetically and does what she can to get her own way, including using reports of the Misfit to try, unsuccessfully, to get the family to vacation in east Tennessee rather than Florida. Her anxieties come from her engagement with the world: she reads the newspaper, knows what's happening in the world, and cares about her cat. She is also characterized as annoying--the children treat her with disrespect, her daughter-in-law ignores her and her granddaughter characterizes her as needing to be at the center of things: "Afraid she'd miss something. She has to go everywhere we go." There's a pathos in the grandmother too, who has to tolerate a second-hand, dismissive treatment to be part of this family which tolerates her more than it embraces her. 

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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