Grandma's Role in A Good Man is Hard to Find

Although stories can have many characters, not all characters within a story are crucial, However, the grandma within “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a crucial character to the story. The first, and most simple, reason that the grandma is important is because she drives the plot forward by either influencing the other characters to do something or by directly causing something to happen. The second reason is that she showcases how even though something may seem like it was inevitable or due to fate, there is always a chain of events that can be seen as the cause of whatever happened The final, and most complex, reason is that she can be seen as teaching the reader lessons by embodying many negative aspects of human nature.

The grandmother’s overall significance in this story is derived from both her moving the plot of the story forward, and how she showcases some of the lessons that this story can provide.

The grandmother plays a vital role in the story by influencing or directly causing the other characters to do things that ultimately led all of them to their graves, The grandma first tried to influence her son Bailey when the whole family was planning to depart to Florida for a vacation Since she did not want to go to Florida, she “was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind“ (Connor 1). Her main chance was mentioning to Bailey that a murderous criminal called “The Misfit was aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida”.

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By changing Bailey‘s mind, she caused the family to go the actual way The Misfit was headediGeorgia instead of where the newspaper said she was headed—Florida She then snuck Pitty Sing—her cat into the car, since “Her son, Bailey, didn’t like to arrive at a motel with a cat”. Her decision to bring along her cat would later directly cause all of them to crash, which is how they met The Misfit.

Then came the event that essentially directly caused the whole family to get killed: she told The Misfit that she recognized him as The Misfit. The grandma telling The Misfit that she recognized him essentially forced him to have to kill the family, since he obviously didn’t want to get caught again The Misfit himself stated, “but it would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn’t of recognized me”. Although the family‘s encounter with The Misfit may seem completely coincidental, all of the aforementioned events had to happen and the grandma was a major cause of many of the events. As can be seen throughout the aforementioned examples, the grandma caused many events to happen either directly or indirectly that ultimately ended up with the whole family dying. The grandma‘s significance is also partially due to how she’s the character through which the reader can learn a lesson from this story. Essentially, the grandma can almost be seen as an amplified version of many of the negatives of human nature.

The grandma can be seen as lying to Bailey when she brought up how The Misfit is headed to Florida and that‘s why the family shouldn‘t go to Florida This was a lie, since the grandma simply did not want to go to Florida at all; the very first line of the story shows this: “The grandmother didn‘t want to go to Florida”. She lied yet again when she stated, “‘There was a secret-panel in this house,‘ she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were”. She herself knew that what she said is a lie but she said it anyway. Each of these seemingly harmless lies can be seen as having a rippling effect that eventually caused the family to die A lesson can be learned from just the grandma’s lying; because no matter how innocent a lie may seem to someone, lying could cause a chain effect that ends up with something actually horrible happening.

Besides lying, the grandma also frequently judged others but never herself and another lesson can be learned from this For example, when the grandmother stated, “I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did,” she can be interpreted as saying “This seems dangerous or stupid to me but you can do what you want;” the interpretation becomes much clearer if emphasis on I and my conscience is placed, Within the first paragraph of the story, the grandma is already judging her son’s decision-making skills and his (apparent) uncaring attitude towards the safety of his children. She then continues to judge not only Bailey‘s decision making but also that of his wife by saying “You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad”. Now she is judging the parents’ overall desire to teach their children about the world, which, yet again, is judging decision making, All of the judging that the grandma does throughout the story later backfires on her when shejudges or lies to The Misfit that he “is a good man” (7) and he doesn’t respond positively to it.

Yet again a lesson about how judging others but not yourself can lead to something bad—death can be learned. In conclusion, the grandmother is a vital character to the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” because moves the plot forward and teaches the reader lessons by embodying negative aspects of humanity Personally, the grandmother is the reason why I greatly enjoyed this piece She teaches the reader that no matter how small an insult, lie, or character judgment may seem at the time, every action can cause events that cause others; thereby, creating a chain of events that could lead back to the individual that lied, or insulted someone. Essentially, the grandma’s greatest lesson seems to revolve around the concept of karma. It’s impressive that such a short story can teach everyone such a vital lesson about interacting with others and the power of one’s words or actions.

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Grandma's Role in A Good Man is Hard to Find. (2023, Apr 08). Retrieved from

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