Despite the peaceful and humorous beginning of the story, its ending is tragic and gruesome. The author introduces an escaped prisoner named The Misfit, who kills the Grandmother in the end. Her selfishness leads all her family members to death.
A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor was first published in 1955. It appeared in the story collection of the same name. The story is prominent for the author’s masterful depiction of contrasting ideas of violence and humor. Besides, O’Connor’s unique understanding of Christian philosophy penetrates all the other themes.
The Grandmother is the protagonist of the story. She believes that being recognized as a lady is the essential thing in life. The narrative is rich in foreshadowing and gives the reader some hints of an upcoming tragedy. For instance, the Grandmother has to spend a lot of time choosing an appropriate dress to wear during the trip. She jokingly explains to her family that she wants to look like a lady if she dies that day. She also mentions the dangers of the world and the murderer’s recent escape.
The gruesome ending of the story reflects the author’s opinion of Christian philosophy. She underlines its moral influence on people. The concept of God’s grace is explained through the character’s behavior at the moment of death. In the beginning, the Grandmother is described as a judgmental and selfish person. Then she becomes kind and hopeful as she accepts the murderer as her own son. The author shows that even tragic events might have a positive side. It turns out that the moment of death became the moment of epiphany and grace for the Grandmother.