A Good Man Is Hard to Find Questions and Answers
by Flannery O’Connor

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

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The central conflict is between the grandmother and society.  She feels that people, in general, are no longer as good as they are used to be, and she bemoans this fact throughout the entire story.  Her relationship with her son, Bailey, and his family is clearly not up to snuff for her: Bailey ignores her, at best, the two older children are very disrespectful to her, and the name of his wife is never even mentioned.  She is unhappy with the way she is treated by the whole family.  

On vacation, when the family stops at Red Sammy Butts's Barbecue, the grandmother takes the opportunity to commiserate with Red Sammy, a man who shares her opinion that "a good man is hard to find" and that it is difficult to trust anybody nowadays.  No one else seems to want to engage in this kind of conversation with either of them. The irony, here, is that both the grandmother and Red Sammy are pretty terrible in their own ways: for example, she's a racist and he is very rude to his wife.

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