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ENG 102Ms. CampbellA Lady in DisguiseIn Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," the character of the Grandmother is a woman who believes she is a lady of high values and morals. O'Connor depicts the grandmother as a selfish and deceptive hypocrit, who stops at nothing to get her way. The Grandmother demonstrates numerous acts of deception, which shows she has no consideration for any of her family members. The selfishness is so much a part of the Grandmother that she wears the selfishness like a coat is needed in zero degree weather. Bandy also quoted in the essay, "In our first view of the Grandmother, we witness a chilling demonstration of her selfishness." It is very obvious the Grandmother is concerned with her gaining and nobody else's and it appears she finds nothing to wrong with the idea.
When the family encounters the Misfit and the Grandmother recognizes him as the Misfit, she quickly asked him, "you wouldn't shoot a lady, would you?" She shows no concern about the rest of the family and continues to plead with the Misfit for her life only. The Grandmother exaggerated a lot, for example she told the Misfit, "we turned over twice," when they actually turned over once. Perhaps, this was another way of deception to gain her empathy from anyone she could. In Stephen C. Brandy's essay, "One of My Babies," he quoted, "the grandmother's petty acts of deception are, it seems at first glance merely that- petty acts. Profoundly dishonest, she stops at nothing to have her way." The Grandmother proves this statement to be quite accurate when she insists on going to Tennessee. The grandmother was so concerned that "a fellow, who called himself the Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen..headed toward Florida" was the reason she proclaimed would be better to go to Tennessee. The next day the Grandmother is the first one in the car ready and packed and notice how there is nothing mentioned concerning the danger of the Misfit
As a matter of fact the Grandmother is on to her next deception. "She was hiding a basket with Pitty Sing, the cat in it." Her son Bailey did not like the cat coming along the trip and "didn't like to arrive at a motel with a cat." The Grandmother never stops her deceptive acts and she just continue on babbling until she get what she wants. The Grandmother lies about the secret panel in the house where, "the family silver was hidden in it ..but it was never found." She knew that lying about silver hidden in an old house would be like finding a hidden treasure to the kids, which would get them all, worked up and Bailey would stop to satisfy the kids. After riding down the unused dirt road, she again demonstrates her deceptiveness when came to a sudden realization. "She had come to realize "that the house she had remembered so vividly was not in Georgia but in Tennessee." The Grandmother refused to tell her son Bailey, because he would have came down on her harshly.
The Grandmother never learned her lesson in this story. She believed highly that she was a lady of statue. From the beginning to the end of the story, the grandmother could never be quiet long enough to realize, that she actually did more damage than good. Especially, the encounter of the Misfit, one can only wonder if the grandmother had not recognized the Misfit, would he have allowed them to live? The Grandmother had been guilty of being selfish and deceptive for so long, she probably could not have changed if she wanted to. A lady in disguise is what really describes the Grandmother at best.Work CitedBandy, Stephen C., "One of My Babies": The Misfit and The Grandmother." Studies in Short Fiction 33, no.1 (winter 1996): 107-18.O'Connor, Flannery., "A Good Man Is Hard to Find": Discovering Literature: Stories, Poems, Plays." 3rd ed. (pp.355-365).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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