What is the irony in Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"?

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There are three major situational ironies in "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Situational ironies occur when events in a story work out differently than characters or readers might anticipate.

In the first situational irony, the Grandmother discovers that all the defenses she has surrounded herself with to set herself apart are meaningless when she finally does meet an existential threat to her existence. For example, she makes a great deal of fuss over dressing in the hat and frock of a "lady," thinking this will gain her respect and protection. However, when she tries to appeal to the Misfit on the basis of herself as a lady and he as coming from "good" people, this has no resonance with the Misfit.

Money, which also gives her a sense of protection, is another item she offers the Misfit. The idea that he should exchange her money for her life is laughable from the outset: the Misfit knows he can take her money as soon as she is dead, and he treats her proposal with the appropriate...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 14, 2019