Thesis: Bailey and his family discover the hard way just how ironic life can be.
In "A Good Man is Hard to Find" Flannery O"Conner tells the story of a family in route to their Florida vacation and the trouble the grandmother gets them in. The grandmother does not want to go to Florida on vacation and tries many methods of changing her son, Bailey's mind. Although she tries many methods, none of them have the effect on him she desires. Bailey is as stubborn as his mother, completely shutting the door on every proposition his mother makes. When she finally makes some progress in delaying their travels things go horribly. Bailey and his family discover the hard way just how ironic life can be. .
The grandmother uses many excuses for the family to go to Tennessee instead of Florida on vacation. The first of her many excuses is "The Misfit", a serial killer that has escaped from prison and is headed toward Florida, claiming that she would never take her children anywhere near a man like that. This didn't have the desired effect on Bailey so she explains to him and his wife how the children need more variety and they should take the children to see different parts of the world, East Tennessee for example. Once again her plea to Bailey and his wife had no effect. Even after they had left home she continued to try and divert them from their coarse. Finally succeeding when she convinced the children they would like to visit an old plantation home she had visited during her own childhood. .
There were many clues as to what was unfolding during the story, although one would have trouble noticing them upon initial reading. The first of the clues was, of coarse, the mentioning of "The Misfit's" escaping from prison. She notifies Bailey, her son, about the Misfit and his crimes and in so doing , she foreshadows coming events. From the beginning of the story, the grandmother makes many attempts to change the family's plans.