Irony in A Good Man is Hard to Find
The short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” written by Flannery O'Connor, is an excellent example of literature with irony because there are so many small different ironic twists to it. Almost every aspect of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is ironic. These ironies reveal the irony of the south in general, the irony of loving yourself and the idea of your upbringing so much that you put others down. Flannery O'Connor uses a lot of irony and religious references and aspects in her writing. O'Connor's irony can be seen as sacramental, not because it works with the stuff of religious belief and non-belief, which it does, but because it itself operates as a vehicle of revelation. (Wynne)
From the very beginning of the story the grandmother uses a newspaper article about a recent escapee to try to deter the family from driving down to Florida because she would rather go to Tennessee. She warns them that the Misfit is on the loose and if they ran into him it would be trouble. This is ironic because the Misfit is exactly who they ran into on their trip, she was dramatically warning the family of the worst situation possible, and ironically the worst situation possible is exactly what they got.
Not all the irony in the story was dark. When the family visited Red Sam's she spoke to Red Sam as an equal, despite his skin color being a red; a hint that he is Native American, Hispanic, or Indian. He treated her with the most respect of any character in the story. This is ironic because while she was traveling with the family she told stories about “a nigger boy” who ate the watermelon one of her suitors left her when she was young. So we, the audience, can assume she is racist in the way most older people are racist.
The final town that the family enters is named Toombsboro which is no coincidence on the author's part; A tomb being a final resting place. When they enter this place the grandmother begins to tell a tale of an old...