Flannery O’Connor understood her story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” as a story of good, evil, and grace. Many see it as an selfish woman who uses manipulation to get what she wants. There are few moments in the story when the grandmother manipulates other, including her family members and the criminals.
“She had her big black valise that looked like the head of a hippopotamus in one corner, and underneath it she was hiding a basket with Pitty Sing, the cat, in it. She didn’t intend for the cat to be left alone in the house for three days because he would miss her too much and she was afraid he might brush against one of the gas burners and accidentally asphyxiate himself. Her son, Bailey, didn’t like to arrive at a motel with a cat” (O’Connor, ). Grandmother decides to hide her cat from the family, which makes it clear that she does whatever she wants without thinking about others. Another good example is when the grandmother uses Jesus to manipulate the misfit.
“Jesus!” the old lady cried. “You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!” (O’Connor,). The grandmother offers misfit some money after he’s already killed her family.
She is trying another strategy of manipulation, as we can see how desperate she is, throwing all her old actions away. Now this all looks like whatever she said before was an attempt to keep herself alive.