A family of six traveling to Florida, is the main setting for Flannery O?Connor?s ?A Good Man is Hard to Find.? Almost to Florida, the path of Bailey?s family cross with the Misfit after an accident and lead to the whole family demise. Three causes of the family?s demise are Grandmother, Bailey and the Misfit.
Grandmother was the one most would think lead to the family?s demise, but she was not alone. Grandmother did warn her son, Bailey to not go in the direction that the Misfit was traveling. It seemed to Bailey the only reason why she wanted to go a different way was so she could go to Tennessee, where she had wanted to go. In some ways, this was a compassionate move for the Grandmother because she cared about her family and in other ways she was just being conniving. The grandmother cared about her cat and didn?t want to leave the cat alone for the time they would be on the trip.
She snuck the cat in the car for the trip which leads to the accident, when the cat jumped on Bailey and the car went in an embankment. The one major cause was that the grandmother was scared of Bailey, and if she would have told him the truth about the house not being there after going out of their way, Bailey would have been very upset. Even though the grandmother seems like the easy choice for the cause of the family?s demise there were other forces and Bailey was another.
Bailey was the parochial figure in the story with no backbone, respect, or concern with family?s demise. After a warning from his mother, Grandmother, he still wanted to Gilbert-2 travel to Florida in the path of the Misfit who just escaped from the federal penetenry. His mother was fearful of Bailey?s reaction if she told him the truth that the house they were looking for was in Tennessee and not in Georgia where they were looking. If Bailey was a little more supportive and not so rigid and hard on his mother maybe she would have spoke up and been so afraid of him. The children had as much respect for Bailey as he had for his mom, which isn?t very much. Bailey should have put his foot down and told the children no when they were throwing a tantrum about the secret panel house which ultimately landed them literally in the laps of the Misfit. Being the male figure in the story, Bailey did not act like a man, more like a woman and if he would have stood his ground they would have never met the Misfit.
The Misfit, an escaped convict, saw the whole accident happen and figured to use the accident to his advantage. The Misfit did not have to kill the family, but at the same time if he had let them go, he may have been caught. The Misfit was not born evil; he became evil because of life circumstances. Within the last sentence of the story, he knows doing everything you want is not pleasurable, and knows that killing is wrong. The Misfit has no leap of faith and needs proof, so when the Grandmother starts pleading for their lives and uses religion, it works against her in the Misfits eyes. He believes that when Jesus raised people from the dead, he messed up everything. Since the Misfit did not see this physically happen, he does not believe it. The Misfit is the final cause for the family demise, but if circumstances did not lead up to the accident as they did, the Misfit never would have crossed their paths.
Gilbert-3 Different choices throughout the story made the paths of the family and the Misfit cross which ultimately led to their demise. The Grandmother and Bailey both had different agendas and if they all would have maybe listened to one another they would not have met the Misfit. There were many causes that lead to the family demise, but ultimately it all goes back to Bailey, and him making the choice to go to Florida in the path of the Misfit.