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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Flannery O'Connor's short story "A good man is hard to find" opens with a family who consist of a grandmother (who remained nameless throughout the story), her son Bailey, his wife (who also remains nameless), and their three children June Star, John Wesley and a baby who all lives in Georgia and are planning on a vacation to Florida. The grandmother does not want to go to Florida so she tries to convince her son Bailey and his family to go to Tennessee for their vacation. In order to convince him she points out that she read in an article that an escaped convict named The Misfit was headed towards Florida and that it wasn't a good idea for him to take his family to a state where a criminal would be. Bailey in turn just ignores his mother and continues to read his paper.

On the morning of the trip the grandmother wears her best dress and hat in order to be identified as a lady if there were to be an accident while traveling. She also takes it upon herself to take along her cat Pitty Sing and hides it in a basket. While on the road the family stops at a restaurant called The Tower where they meet Red Sammy Butts who is the owner. The Grandmother and Red Sammy talks about the current state of the world, complaining that you cannot trust anyone. He tells a story about how he gave two men gas on credit and he feels that he has been taken advantage of. The grandmother tells Red Sammy that he is a good man for doing it.

The family is back on the road the grandmother wakes up and realizes that she remembers an old plantation that she visited as a young lady. As Bailey drove the grandmother talked about the house. She long to see the house again but knew that her son Bailey would never turn back for her to go see it. The grandmother lies and says there were "secret panels"(230; par. 45) in the house which in turns excites Bailey's children. The children beg and beg there father to take the detour until he finally gives in.

As the Family drives deeper in the woods the grandmother then realizes that she made a mistake. The plantation wasn't in Georgia it was in Tennessee. Realizing that she made a mistakes the grandmother jerks up which frightens Pitty Sing, who jumps out of the basket an unto Bailey's shoulder which causes him to have an accident. The grandmother decides not to tell Bailey about her mistake.

Another car then approaches and out jumps three men. The grandmother then realizes that one of them is The Misfit. He turns to her and said "It would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn't recognized me."(232; par.80) She starts to flatter the misfit by telling him that he "comes from nice people"(233; par. 85) but he begins to order the other two criminal, Bobby Lee and Hiram, to take Bailey and John Wesley to the woods. Later two shots are heard fired and



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