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A Good Man is Hard to Find

    A Good Man is Hard to Find
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Summary of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor

"A Good Man is Hard to Find" is a short story by Flannery O'Connor, first published in 1953. The story is a gripping narrative about a family's unfortunate encounter with an escaped convict, known as The Misfit, during a road trip to Florida. Central themes include the dynamics of family, violence, grace, and redemption.


  • The Grandmother: A manipulative and self-centered elderly woman who prides herself on her manners and Southern gentility.
  • The Misfit: An escaped convict who confronts the family, leading to a profound moral and existential dialogue.
  • Bailey: The grandmother's son, who is reluctant to take his family on the trip she proposes.
  • Bailey's Wife: A character mostly in the background, she is the mother of their children, including John Wesley, June Star, and a baby.

Plot Overview

The story begins with the family preparing for a trip. Despite warnings about an escaped convict named The Misfit, the grandmother persuades her son Bailey to take a detour, which leads to a car accident. Stranded, they encounter The Misfit and his gang. As the situation escalates, the grandmother's moral platitudes are challenged, revealing her and The Misfit's complex natures.


  • Violence and Grace: The story explores how moments of violence can lead to opportunities for grace and redemption.
  • Good vs. Evil: The grandmother's and The Misfit's interactions highlight the complexities of human nature and the blurred lines between good and evil.
  • The Illusion of Goodness: The grandmother's flawed moral compass is exposed, questioning the nature of goodness in individuals.


The story concludes with a dramatic and tragic ending, forcing the characters and readers to confront the reality of their existence and the possibility of grace in moments of despair.