Critical Analysis Essay on the Character of the Grandmother in a Good Man Is Hard to Find

Published: 2023-01-08
Critical Analysis Essay on the Character of the Grandmother in a Good Man Is Hard to Find
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Character analysis American literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 828 words
7 min read

A good man is hard to find is one of the most widely read books by O'Connor. It is a collection of short stories depicting some of the most imminent themes in our society right now. The Grandmother is the central character in the story whose role in the story is enhanced by the author through visual imagery, diction, and dialogue. As the protagonist, the story revolves around her life, and that of the people around her including her family and she identifies as old-fashioned, self-serving, an obnoxious. Her manipulative nature is manifested when she and her son's, Bailey, vacation interests clash. The Grandmother wants to visit her relatives in Tennessee while she feels that they should have a family vacation in Florida. She is bent on seizing every opportunity she gets n changing Bailey's mind. Throughout the story, the author depicts her as being so self-absorbed she feels that everything should revolve around her with her pushy and overbearing attitude.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

She seizes the chance of using the story in the newspaper that a criminal named The Misfit was out of jail. The Grandmother tells her son that she wouldn't take her children anywhere near the direction of such a criminal saying that she heard he was headed for Florida. She tells Bailey to read in the newspaper what the Misfit did to those people. More so, she emphasizes that she would not be able to answer to her conscience if her children were to be harmed because she put them in the line of the Misfit. She further urges that since the children had been to Florida before, they should be taken to a different place for a new experience, for instance, east Tennessee.

She does not win this argument with Bailey, and she has no choice but to go with the family on their vacation in Florida. She refuses to be left in the house alone. She is also portrayed as a person who judges people by their physical appearances and is fixated on social status and wealth as well as her appearances. This indicated by her wearing her best clothes and a huge hat which she says is so that people would recognize her as a refined lady if she happened to die in an accident along the road. The family experiences a series of small accidents. She convinces the family to branch on to a dirt road that would take them to an old farm. It is on this road that their car wrecks and they encounter the criminal that the Grandmother had warned Bailey about.

Towards the end of the story, the author emphasizes the duality of life in which there exists good and evil, right and wrong, and moral and immoral. It is in this section of the story that the Grandmother is depicted as having likable and favorable characteristics even though they only manifest because she is under duress. Her encounter with the Misfit who is about to kill her is evidence that she has finally that everyone, including herself, has some evil in them; a dark side. To emphasize this realization, she can be seen telling the Misfit that even he can be one of her children. Her good side comes out even though it is meant as an attempt to implore the Misfit to spare her life. Her character undergoes an exciting transformation from a selfish, egocentric, manipulative woman to one who is very humble making futile attempts to flatter her killer to save her life, even making references to the unconditional love of Jesus for humankind with all its shortcoming. Her former self was very racist and seemed to find fault in everyone as expressed through her discontent with her family.

The Grandmother considers herself to be morally upright and superior to everyone else. This can be seen through her constant criticism and judgment of others while she never seems to notice her flaws. It is only when she is at the verge of death that she seems to agree that everybody has two sides to them; the good and the evil, even herself. The author depicts her as being compassionate when she refers to the Misfit as one of her children. The theme of grace is emphasized through her character. The author aims at exhibiting that in extreme circumstances, grace is efficient. The three bullets to the chest are also symbolic of the Holy Trinity (The father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). Even though tries to lure him into her world by assuring that he is a good man, she hoped that he would identify with her moral code and feel remorse for trying to kill a refined lady like her. The Misfit agrees with her categorizing him as a good man but see it as no reason to not kill her. She then makes the mistake of telling him that she knew who he was. He ends up killing the whole family including the Grandmother.

Cite this page

Critical Analysis Essay on the Character of the Grandmother in a Good Man Is Hard to Find. (2023, Jan 08). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism