The interpretive work of scholars often focuses on the controversial final scene. A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” because of flannery o connor mystery and manners pdf publication in many anthologies, became the most well known of O’Connor’s works.
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She argues that his children, John Wesley and June Star, have never been to East Tennessee, and she shows him a news article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about an escaped murderer who calls himself The Misfit last seen in Florida. She is worried that the cat would die while they were gone. The Grandmother talks continuously during the trip, trying to engage her two grandchildren in games and telling them jokes and a story, about which June Star makes disdainful comments. She recalls her youth in the Old South, reminiscing about her courtships and how much better everything was in her time, when children were respectful and people “did right then.
When the family stops at an old diner outside of Timothy for lunch, she talks to the owner, Red Sammy, about The Misfit. Sammy’s remark that “a good man is hard to find. After the family returns to the road, the grandmother begins telling the children a story about a mysterious house nearby with a secret panel, a house she remembers from her childhood. This catches the children’s attention and they want to visit the house, so they harass their father until he reluctantly agrees to allow them just one side trip. As he drives them down a remote dirt road, the grandmother suddenly realizes that the house she was thinking of was actually in Tennessee, not Georgia. That shocking realization makes her involuntarily kick her feet which frightens the cat, causing it to spring from its hidden basket onto Bailey’s neck.