The grandmother tells them about Tennessee, but according to young John Wesley, “Tennessee is just a hillbilly dumping ground” (13).
The grandmother is appalled by this statement and begins talking about how children were more respectful of their home states.
Often, however, O'Connor's characters miss moments of opportunity to make some connection; their spiritual blindness keeps them from seeing truth.
"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is the title story of O'Connor's first short story collection, and, therefore, often serves as an introduction to the rest of her fiction.
The story is enjoyable for its humorous portrayal of a family embarking on a vacation; O'Connor has been unforgiving in her portrayal of these characters—they are not likable.
However, in creating characters that elicit little sympathy from readers, O'Connor has carefully set the premise for her main argument: that grace is for everyone, even those who seem loathesome.
This all leads her into a story about her life as a southern belle on a plantation when a suitor used to bring her watermelons with his initials carved into them, which were E. No one but John Wesley thought this was a very funny story.
The family comes to a barbeque restaurant called The Tower, which is run by a man named Red Sammy.
They beg and beg Bailey, who for the whole trip is intense and one can imagine, fed up with his mother, and he finally gives in, although very reluctantly. The road to the house the grandmother remembers is back about a mile, so they turn around.
When they finally get to it and start down the dirt the path, the grandmother has a horrible realization—something comes to her suddenly and she jerks, spilling the valise and the cat.