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A Good Man is Hard to Find short summary


Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find is an intriguing story about how a family comes into confrontation with violence as well as sudden death when they decide to take a trip to Florida. The story is a mixture of violence, comedy as well as religious concerns. These are some of the concerns that normally concern the works of O’Connor’s fictional work. The story takes us through the journey that the family takes and what unfolds during their journey. This paper will give a brief synopsis of the plot.

Synopsis of A Good Man Is Hard to Find

The story begins with some disagreement between Bailey and his Mother on where they should go for a trip. The mother who is referred to as the grandmother of Bailey’s children in the story wants to go to Tennessee. Bailey, her son, ignores her concerns. Bailey’s wife also ignores the grandmother who then turns to the children. The children are of no help either when questioned by the grandmother. They make fun of her and mention that she would not manage to be left alone in the house.

The grandmother to Bailey’s children tries to warn the family of the misfit who is on the loose and who may be on the way to Florida. However, this lands on deaf ears. The following morning, the grandmother is enthusiastic about the trip and decides to go along with them. She manages to bring the cat along with her and hides it from them.

The trip is fun for the whole family with the grandmother telling the children stories when they were not reading comic books. She also tells them about the history of various places that they passed through. The old graveyard for the plantation is one of these. When the children misbehave, the grandmother informs John Wesley and June Star that children in the old days were better behaved.

On the way they also stop at a restaurant eat something. While there, the grandmother discusses with Red Sammy, the owner of the establishment about the issue of trust and how hard it is to find good men in the present day. She also mentions the issue of the misfit and the fact that he is on the loose.

Upon returning to the road, the grandmother interests the children with a story about the plantations and they coerce their father to go there. It is only while they are in the dirt road that the grandmother realizes that this route that she thought of is in Tennessee and not Georgia. The realization shocks her so much that she jerks and lets the cat out of the basket. It jumps on Bailey’s shoulder causing him to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident.

It is while stranded that they come across the misfit and the whole family is murdered. The grandmother is the last to die and she tries to convince the misfit to be a better person and pray for forgiveness. However, upon trying to touch him, he shoots her; the grandmother, three times on the chest. This is the tragic end of the story A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor.


To sum up, we may say that the plot is that of a tragicomedy. There is a lot of humor at the beginning of the story and during the journey just prior to the tragedy of the death of the whole family at the end. It is rather clear that Flannery O’Connor has made use of this comedy as a preparation for the reader as to the tragedy that is to come. The author also makes use of foreboding in the story to prepare the reader of the impending tragedy. For example, there is the mention of the misfit at the beginning of the story. This exposition of the misfit before the tragedy prepares the reader of the subsequent tragedy. This is the nature with which the plot unfolds.