The short story “A good man is hard to find” is quite ironic and shocking. The thing is that the ‘boogie monster’ , the convict “The Misfit”, used by the old lady for the purposes of manipulating the family is what cost their lives of the whole family.
The mood and atmosphere in this short story are definitely have a heavy influence on the characters and their actions. The atmosphere in the family is not the best to say the least, no one cares about anything. The kids are quite spoiled and most of the time their behavior is inappropriate. The phrases they are using and how they talk to strangers, not to mention their grandmother, is are rude. The parents are wrapped up in their own things and say nothing to children. The grandmother who takes pride in being a lady can be granted this title solely by her choice of the clothing. When the family is about to go on a trip she implies that trip to Florida is dangerous, as a vicious prisoner has just escaped the prison down there, according to the news paper. This seems like a caring attitude, but not really, the reason was that she just wanted to go to Tennessee to visit people she knew. When the atmosphere heats up, all the family members are just there on their own, none of their family members stands for each other. And as the situation progresses and the family gets killed one by one with the old lady being the last.
One of the things that are symbolic is the idea of a “good man”. The grandmother constantly repeats this phrase in different settings and applies it to different situations and people, which blurs the definition of this phrase more and more. Once she applies this term to a man that is basically is reckless and has a poor judgment. The other time she applies it to a killer who is not even sorry a bit for the things he has been doing, and believes that he was imprisoned for all the wrong things. She believes that this label of a ”good man” will keep him from killing her, as he would not want to lose it. Another symbol
In this situation the setting plays one of the key roles and allows for the real personas of the family members to come out. If hadn’t been put in the situation they were in, we would never see the extent of selfishness and ignorance in this family.
The location in this story is not superficial in communicating the writer’s idea. The old lady still would not care for her family that much, as the rest of the family members. It is the situation and the moral setting that matters here. The family is so rotten that eventually the outcome would be the same.
The setting does change, and it is exactly what brings this story to its climax, from the ignorant and peaceful family atmosphere to the situation where all the family members reveal their true selves. First it is mild disregard during the trip preparation and the trip itself, which eventually leads to the situation out of which no one will come out alive.
To conclude, I would like to say that as scary as it sounds, I feel that in modern world this situation if far from fiction. And there somewhere are the families that would act approximately the sameon the daily basis as within this high heat situation.