Please explain the irony in the story "A Good Man Is Hard To Find."

There are many examples of situational and dramatic irony in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." Perhaps the most significant irony comes at the end of the story, when the grandmother actually becomes more compassionate and empathetic, nearer to being a "good woman" than she has been all along. When her life is threatened by the Misfit, it actually prompts her to become the "good woman" she has long thought she is.

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A chief irony in the story is summed up in the words of the Misfit about the grandmother:

She would of been a good woman … if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.

The Misfit speaks to the fact that the grandmother only becomes an kind person at the moment of her death, when she is desperate to try to save her life. Up until that point, she had placed her faith in false forms of security, chiefly her social status as a lady and her money.

Throughout the story, the grandmother has taken her position as a Southern lady very seriously. She dressed carefully for the family road trip, wearing a lace trimmed frock and a hat that signaled her status. She considered herself superior to those she deemed lower class, such as a young Black child they passed on the road.

At the end, when the grandmother realizes the Misfit and his gang are taking her family into the woods to kill them, and that her own life is in danger, she appeals to the Misfit, calling him a "good man"...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1046 words.)

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