A Good Man Is Hard to Find


The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind. Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy. He was sitting on the edge of his chair at the table, bent over the orange sports section of the Journal. “Now look here, Bailey,” she said, “see here, read this,” and she stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head. “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. I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did.”

Bailey didn’t look up from his reading so she wheeled around then and faced the children’s mother, a young woman in slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like a rabbit’s ears. She was sitting on the sofa, feeding the baby his apricots out of a jar. “The children have been to Florida before,” the old lady said. “You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They never have been to east Tennessee.”

The children’s mother didn’t seem to hear her but the eight-year-old boy, John Wesley, a stocky child with glasses , said, “If you don’t want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?” He and the little girl, June Star, were reading the funny papers on the floor.

-Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories.

  1. Based on this excerpt, which of the following words best describes the grandmother?
  • selfish
  • worried
  • innocent
  • timid
  • devoted
  1. How do the other family members respond to the grandmother’s behavior?
  • They poke fun at her.
  • They ignore her for the most part.
  • They exclude her from their activities.
  • They let her have her way.
  • They openly defy her.
  1. Which of the following situations is most similar to be situation in the excerpt?
  • a conference in which teachers discuss the best way to educate children
  • a meeting in which a boss tries to change his staff’s mind about an issue
  • a gathering in which neighbors vote on how to curb crime in their community
  • a family reunion in which relatives express their love for one another
  • a classroom in which students share their views about current events
  1. What is the main way in which the grandmother’s character is revealed in this excerpt?
  • description of what she looks like
  • background about her Tennessee heritage
  • details about what she likes to read
  • explanations of what the other characters think of her
  • dialogue in which her manner of speaking is shown