What is the ironic significance of the title of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor?

The ironic significance of the title of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is found in the fact that early in the story, the grandmother laments that "a good man is hard to find." Later, in her greatest moment of need, she needs a "good man" to spare her life, and she finds out that good men are indeed tough to find.

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When the family stops at The Tower for barbecued sandwiches, Red Sammy and the grandmother have a conversation about how difficult times have gotten. Red Sammy tells her, "A good man is hard to find," and he and the grandmother discuss "better times," which were, of course, only better for some. Both Red Sammy and the grandmother place themselves solidly in the "good" category and look with scorn upon a world where everything (and everyone else) is "getting terrible."

The grandmother bases her own sense of "goodness" on her race, her outer appearance, and her sense of religion. She is careful to wear her "white cotton gloves" on this little excursion so that people will know that she is a lady, yet she also makes derogatory comments about a black child she spies from her car window. The grandmother believes she is a good person, yet all of her actions indicate otherwise.

In her moment of crisis, the grandmother suddenly is confronted with the Misfit, who makes no pretense about the fact...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 862 words.)

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