A Good Man Is Hard to Find Characters

This Custom-Writing.org article contains all the information about “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” characters: the Grandmother, the Misfit, Bailey, June Star, John Wesley, Red Sammy Butts, and others. In the first section, you’ll find “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” character map.

🗺️ A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Character Map

Below you’ll find a character map of “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find character map describes the relationships between the characters in the story.

👵 A Good Man Is Hard to Find Character Analysis: The Grandmother

It may sound weird, but the main character in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is the Grandmother. This elderly lady may seem innocent, but she is a perfectly egocentric manipulator. Let’s discuss it in detail!

First thing first, she brings a cat with her even though her son is clearly against it. She tries to make up some cheap excuses telling herself that the cat will die from loneliness. However, we know that it is just her selfishness that rules her decisions.

Moreover, throughout the whole road trip, you can see the Grandmother manipulate her grandchildren and her son to fulfill her desires. She tries to convince Bailey and his wife not to go to Florida, which appears to be an element of foreshadowing. Then, she desperately wants to stop by the plantation and uses the kids to get what she wants.

The Grandmother can hardly be called a hero in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” This “lady” thinks of herself as superior to others due to her manners. She even speaks of how hard it is to find a decent man these days. At the same time, she has never looked for flaws in herself. Her character undergoes a change only after the car crash when she was approaching her death.

The Grandmother’s Quotes from A Good Man Is Hard to Find

In my time… children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Jesus! You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

👦 A Good Man Is Hard to Find: The Misfit Character Analysis

After taking a closer look at the Misfit, you might notice that he appears to be far more spiritual than any other character in this short story. The Misfit in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is full of surprises since you wouldn’t expect to hear such insights from a murderer.

Comparing the escaped convict to the Grandmother is perhaps the best way to demonstrate how different his perspective is from hers. Let’s put the views on religion aside, even though it’s one of the story’s main themes. The old lady blindly assumes that she is better than others, which makes her a hypocrite. In contrast, the Misfit shows a great deal of self-awareness as he keeps looking for the meaning of life and reflects on his situation a lot. It is deeply ironic how the murderer represents a part of morality that the Grandmother lacks.

The story is grotesque, and the Misfit’s actions are monstrous, but his sense of morality and a set of beliefs are strong enough to lead him. He also continually evolves, adjusting his responses to the situation and the lessons he receives.

For instance, in the end, he is not happy about his friends enjoying the murders. We can assume that something has switched in him after having a philosophical discussion with the Grandmother. Moreover, in the beginning, he doesn’t want to shoot the family. Therefore, we can’t call the Misfit the antagonist.

The Misfit’s Quotes from A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Lady, there never was a body that give the undertaker a tip.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead… and He shouldn’t have done it. He shown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can-by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

She would have been a good woman… if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

👨 A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Bailey Character Analysis 

Bailey is the Grandmother’s son and the head of the family. He undergoes a significant change over the course of the story. Essentially, he loses control over the situation, which exposes his vulnerability as a person.

At the beginning of “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Bailey appears to be pragmatic and calm. Such qualities were typical for men and fathers in the ‘40s and ‘50s, which suggests that Bailey might be faking it to fit in. As the story unfolds, it becomes evident that he’s indeed a different person at heart.

At first, he becomes irritated at his children and the Grandmother. As the situation is spiraling out of control, he gets increasingly more frustrated. But the climax occurs when the family is attacked by the Misfit’s gang, and there’s nothing Bailey can do. In the end, he gets shot along with the others.

Bailey’s inability to protect his loved ones exposes his powerlessness and vulnerability. This shows how a frightened and weak person can be hiding behind a façade of control.

🎭 Other A Good Man Is Hard to Find Characters

John Wesley

A stubborn 8-year-old boy John Wesley is Bailey’s son. He is excessively rude and has no shame in expressing his opinion. Moreover, a little boy doesn’t show a tiny bit of respect towards the Grandmother. John Wesley appears to be the catalyst for Bailey’s decision to see the plantation.

June Star

Flannery O’Connor made sure to make this “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” character as annoying as it gets! Being only one year younger than John Wesley, June Star is definitely more obnoxious than him. The nasty comments little June Star makes don’t seem to bother her parents, only the Grandmother.

The Mother

It would be hard to write a full essay on this character. There are no exciting details about the Mother, except for the fact that she stays unnamed. Her only concern is her children, and she doesn’t participate much in the plot development. In the end, she is murdered by the Misfit’s band, just like the rest of her family.

Red Sammy Butts

Red Sammy Butts is the owner of the restaurant the family stops by. One of the story’s most important quotes belongs to him: “A good man is hard to find.” He wants to talk about the old times and morality so eagerly that becomes obvious that his speech is just a part of the show he puts on to attract customers.

Bobby Lee

Bobby Lee is one of the members of the Misfit’s band. From the summary, we find out that he might be closer to the Misfit than the other convict since he takes more action. Moreover, as another grotesque element of the story, Bobby Lee seems to enjoy killing the family.

We hope that the above information on “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” characters is useful. Want to learn more about the meaning of the short story? Then check out the Essay Topics section.

🔗 References

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