A Good Man is Hard to Find (the real meaning of the text)

The story by Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a story that revolves around a family that set on a fateful journey on their way to Georgia. The family comprising of an influential grandmother, Bailey, his wife, and children were supposed to go to Florida but were convinced to consider Georgia by the grandmother based on her self-interest. When their car overturns following the old woman’s fault, the family meets the Misfit, a criminal who had just escaped from prison, and who shoots them when he is identified. A significant feature that confirms the worth of the text’s meaning is the consideration of the experience at the bar and the forest, both of which appeared to emphasize on the lack of morality in humanity today.

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A notable incidence that justifies the title of the novel is the experience that the family had at the Tower, a restaurant owned by Red Sammy Butts. Red Sammy claims that he believes that people cannot be trusted after he allowed two of his customers to buy gasoline on credit (Franklin). While the grandmother praises the move that the businessman took, it seems that even Red Sam’s wife had not learned to trust people. She does not even trust her husband, and when the grandmother asks whether he had met the Misfit, the woman worries that they might be robbed (O’Connor 34).

Another significant feature that typifies the heading of the text is the consideration of the uniqueness in the Misfit’s behavior. It is apparent that the reason the family got killed in the forest was that the grandmother identified the head of the gang, the Misfit. The grandmother immediately starts showing her influential character when they meet with the Misfit, and despite being aware that the criminal is a law-breaker, she claims that the Misfit is a good man. It does not dawn on her that the Misfit himself had accepted that he was not a good man and that she was trying to force him to embody a new trait altogether (Franklin). Nevertheless, it is clear that the act of trying to call the Misfit a good man after being pursued by the police further strengthens the selection of the topic of the text (O’Connor 35).

The last pertinent feature that warrants the applicability of the text and the topic chosen is the consideration of confession that the Misfit makes after everything appears to come to an end. Following the death of the grandmother at the hands of the Misfit, Hiram and Boddy Lee joined the Misfit, and as they watched the old woman’s dead body, they regret that they had to pull the trigger on the family. It is at this point that the reader realizes that the criminals are compassionate in nature and are unlike the typical criminals in the modern day who only have their personal interest at stake (O’Connor 77).

In summary, the author illustrates the relevance of the topic to the theme of the book and the behavior of key characters. From the analysis, it is clear that the experience that the family had at the restaurant, understanding the Misfit’s behavior, and later from the reader’s assessment of the human character in the gang, it is warranted that the effect of a good man is hard to find is depicted.


Works Cited

O’Connor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find. United States: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953.

Franklin, Kelly Scott. “Interpreting Flannery O’Connor’s ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find.’” Academia.edu. N.p., 2017. http://www.academia.edu/18401604/Interpreting_Flannery_OConnors_A_Good_Man_is_Hard_to_Find.