Basically the main point of the story, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, is that the modern society has drastically degenerate over the past years and that the only way for it to change is for people to repent and renew their faith in God. In addition, the author, Mary Flannery O’Connor, claims in her story that the most of the youth today no longer has moral values unlike the previous generations. In other words, the story is also a comparison between past and present societies and generations.
To illustrate her points and show her comparisons, the author used the characters as symbols of the past and present societies. The grandmother represents the past generation in which people were more disciplined and showed more respect as compared to the present generation.
This difference between the two generations was shown at the beginning of the story wherein the grandmother failed to persuade her son’s family to go to Tennessee instead of Florida. The mere fact that her son’s family chose an alternate path on their way to Florida, which resulted in their murder at the hands of a young man and his gang, shows that the generation today tends to stray from the path that they should be taking.
Basically, the point of the author is had the family remained on the main road or had they went to Tennessee instead of Florida, they would not have been killed. On the other hand, the murderer, a relatively young man called “the Misfit” in the story, according to the author, symbolized the present status of the youth today— misguided and violent. Before the Misfit killed the grandmother, she tried to convince him that he was a good man. In the end, however, the Misfit refused to listen to her and shot her three times in the chest.
The author was very effective in conveying his message that the values of the generation today, particularly, the youth, have significantly deteriorated. In addition, she also convincingly showed how the present society lacks faith as depicted in the Misfit’s refusal to believe in Jesus in his conversation with the grandmother.