What is the main conflict in the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor?

The main conflict in this story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor is an external conflict between the grandmother and a society which she harshly judges. Another way to view conflict is in terms of plot development. In this way, the grandmother's choice to take the family down the wrong road ultimately leads to the climax.

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You could answer this question regarding conflict in two ways. You could examine this question in terms of the characterization of the protagonist , the grandmother. She is the central character in the story and the one who arguably undergoes change in the end. Her conflict is external, between herself and a society which she judges harshly. Viewing herself as a "good" person and a woman of faith, the grandmother places an emphasis on appearing to be a "lady" through her clothing. She makes racist comments about young Black children from her car, viewing them as some sort of spectacle of entertainment. She also tries to convince the Misfit that he doesn't really want to kill her, because she believes he is a "good man." She comments that she "can just look at [him] and tell." Because the grandmother places a heavy emphasis on appearances, she finds herself ultimately staring evil in the face and comes to understand in the last moments of her life that she and the Misfit are more alike than...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 920 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on October 28, 2020
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