A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Grandmother Is the Central Character

  • Category: Books, Literature,
  • Words: 577 Pages: 3
  • Published: 12 September 2021
  • Copied: 130

The entire plot of the story revolves around the grandmother's appearance, speech, actions, and thoughts. Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" portrays the grandmother as narcissistic and deceptive in her actions, appearance, and influence upon others. The narcissistic traits of the grandmother are evident throughout the story, as she takes any opportunity to promote her pomposity and indirectly assert her superiority. For instance, “anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.” (Flannery O’Connor, p.2) as well as, “You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?”.(Flannery O’Connor, p.8). These quotes are reflective of not only her narcissism but also her selfishness. It is apparent from these evidences that she is feeling and acting as if she was superior to others in some way. It is crucial to remember that the story emphasizes on the fact that she is an ignorant and old-headed "lady" and so she certainly is not endowed with wisdom, open-mindedness or any type of specific experience that could give her that confidence to dictate what others can do. This demonstrates the grandmother's arrogant and patronizing desire to stand out using her outfit and the way she talks. On top of that, she is also a hypocrite in a way, as she has different inner feelings and outward behavior throughout the story. When the grandmother did not want to go to Florida, she was the first one ready to go in the morning, not because she changed her mind, but because she wanted to travel and be present there in the car to lead in a sense. Overall, the grandmother's narcissism is evident through her appearance, speeches and actions. 

Apart from that, the grandmother appears to be deceitful on many occasions throughout the story, continuously concealing the truth and manipulating the family members for her interests. As an example, she is being deceptive and dishonest about the truth about why she wants to go to Tennessee. Her ultimate goal is to manipulate the family's plan to just see some of her connections in Tennessee. As she states, “Now look here Bailey … I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it.”(1). Likewise, another instance when the grandmother is being deceitful is along the way to Florida. As she starts telling a story to draw kids' attention, she adds lies such as, “There was a secret-panel in the house”. The grandmother deceives her grandchildren to convince their parents that they should stop at the old house on the way. In doing so, she added to the stress in the car, causing an unnecessary argument as well as making the trip "longer". In light of these cunning, manipulative, and delusive instances, she has certainly been deceitful on every front. As we examine her actions and how she thinks about persuading another person, it appears that she indirectly influences their thoughts and ultimately moves them in her direction. Furthermore, in her way of attempting to convince Bailey, it was clear she was not giving reasonable points but rather using lies to support her ideas. It is significantly crucial to note the meanings of these examples because they demonstrate how the grandmother's inner feelings and thoughts are reflected in her behavior.  Moreover, when her appearance and stereotype are compared, then it seems that she conceals her deception behind her fancy clothing and insulting words, allowing her true character to be revealed. To conclude, the grandmother in the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O'Connor exhibits characteristics of both narcissistic and deceptive person in her appearance, thoughts, affect in others, and her speeches. However, she did not expect that her fate would be her narcissism and deceit.


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