Despite having no name the grandmother’s character reveals itself early and profoundly; she is obsessed with appearances, connected to a vague Southern past, and concerned with propriety and the value of being a lady.
O’Connor describes her “navy blue straw sailor hat,” her “collars and cuffs [that] were white organdy trimmed with lace” and “purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet” that the grandmother pins at her neckline to ensure that “in case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (O’Connor 2).
The Misfit and his henchmen execute the entire family and steal their clothes, car and cat.
O’Connor tells the story from the point of view of the grandmother.
After all, it is not until she is confronted with death that the grandmother shows any sign of depth and even this has been, in countless analysis efforts by scholars, also seen as a final act of manipulation.
Look at the sources on the next page for “A Good Man is Hard to Find” for far more explanation of the meaning of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” in terms of salvation and religion.
The meaning of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor is difficult to untangle, if only because the death of the family is so meaningless and all of their petty business getting to Florida, stopping to eat, having little family squabbles all results in nothing but a swift end.
In some ways then, the meaning of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is about the lack of meaning itself when confronted with the dull hate of crime.
“A Good Man is Hard to Find” centers upon two themes: selfishness, and individualism.
Essentially the grandmother’s insistence on achieving her own selfish ends results in the death of her entire family, as well as the loss of her own life.