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A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Study Guide)

  • Date Submitted: 03/30/2010 04:40 PM
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A Good Man is Hard to Find Study Guide

Significance of Title

“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” is an appropriate title. The title is an illusion to a 1920s blues song by the same name, written by Eddie Green and sung by Bessie.   The song comments on the rarity of faithful, committed men and the abundance of men who are impatient and disrespectful.   Not only does the story discuss goodness but it also touches base on the lack of goodness, especially in society.   All the characters in the story are noticeably flawed with the exception of the baby. The grandmother is selfish and stubbornly rooted in old ways, Bailey and the children are ignorant of tradition, and The Misfit and his cohorts are law-breakers. Throughout the story, the grandmother complains that there is a lack of decency in the world, but in doing so, fails to see her own flaws.   The story does not focus on the goodness of people so much as the lack of such a quality.   While none of the characters is essentially evil, most are imperfect.   This notion goes for all men and women. The age-old maxim applies, “No one is perfect.”

Summary

The grandmother does not want to go to Florida on a family trip; instead she wants to visit east Tennessee. She tries very hard to convince her son, Bailey, and his wife to change their minds. She tells Bailey that a murderer is on the loose and that they should not head to Florida because the murderer, "The Misfit," could kill them.   After having no luck in changing Bailey's mind she tries to convince her daughter-in-law.   The mother ignores the grandmother causing her to go after the children, June Star and John Wesley, to try to change their minds.   The children who want to go to Florida criticize the grandmother for her opinion and tell her to just stay home.
On the day of the trip the grandmother is the first one in the car and packed her cat, Pitty Sing so it would not accidently asphyxiate itself.   The cat is stored in a basket at the grandmother's feet....

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