A Good Man is Hard to Find (O'Connor)

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A Good Man is Hard to Find
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An old lady convinced her son's family to visit an old house she remembered, ultimately causing an accident and encounters with prison escapees leading to the family's death.

An elderly woman, her son Bailey, his wife, and their three children were on a car trip from Georgia to Florida.

The Grandmother — elderly woman; manipulative; nostalgic about past; selfish; overdressed, with a large hat and floral print dress; outgoing, talkative.
Bailey — grandmother's son; father of three; reserved and somewhat impatient; highway accident victim.

Despite the grandmother's persistent attempts to change their destination to Tennessee due to a fugitive criminal, 'The Misfit' known to be headed to Florida, they set off for Florida.

"Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it."

During their journey, the grandmother convinced the family to take a detour to visit an old plantation house in Georgia. As they were driving on a dirt road, the family had an accident and their car toppled over.

A car with three men stopped, and the grandmother realized that one of them was The Misfit.

The Misfit — escaped convict; remorseless and philosophical; grey hair, rimless glasses; wears no shirt, blue jeans, black hat.

She tried to negotiate with him and affirmed his good nature in hope of saving her family.

"I would hate to have to," he said. "Listen," she said, "you shouldn't call yourself The Misfit because I know you're a good man at heart. I can just look at you and tell ."

The Misfit and his accomplices sequentially took each family member into the woods, with the sound of gunshots following each departure. Despite the grandmother's pleas for mercy, she too was eventually shot by The Misfit. After disposing of her body, The Misfit and his accomplices discussed the incident, with The Misfit reflecting on the grandmother's potential to be a ‘good woman’ had circumstances been different.