English 321 (271)
Role of the Grandmother and Christianity in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is hard to Find”, the reader is met with many important characters that all foreshadow the gruesome ending. The first character and perhaps one of the most important is the Grandmother.
The Grandmother is described as a loud mouth Christian who “pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet..in case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady”. This description of the Grandmother is eerily symbolic of what is going to happen to the family later on in the story.
The Grandmother gives off an aura of selfishness and holiness at the same time. When she is looking death in the face, she reverts to pure Christianity. She begins touting at the Misfit like he is Jesus Christ himself, saying things like “Jesus, you’ve got good blood, Jesus; you ought not to shoot a lady”.
In the final stages, the Grandmother is the last one in her family to be living. The Misfit is playing God and eliminating the evils and wickedness of her family. He then turns to her and she is frantic. She is completely reverted to a child-like state, and this plays into the Misfit’s plans perfectly. The Grandmother tries to play along with the Misfit, saying that he is just another of God’s children, just like her.