What Are The Examples Of Verbal Irony In A Good Man Is Hard To Find?

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is full of irony, which is verbal, dramatic, and cosmic. Without these types of irony, the short story would not be as effective. O’Connor’s use of various kinds of irony helps to convey a strong message about humans and the human condition, and to captivate her readers. An example of verbal irony is when the grandmother says she does not want to go to Florida, where the misfit is heading. She is the one who leads her family to their deaths. After the grandmother convinces the family to go to an old house, she realizes they are in the wrong state, putting them in danger. After the car accident in Tennessee, the grandmother finds out it was the misfits they crashed into. The irony is that if the grandmother had not recognized the misfits, she could have saved her family from being killed. The misfit says, “But it would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn’t of recognized me.” A good man is not judged by his outward appearance, language, or thinking, but by his good actions, which the grandmother fails to realize. When the misfits are killing her family, she asks if they will kill a lady, and the misfit says no. We know that the misfit only follows one moral, which is meanness, and he sticks to it. Unlike the grandmother, who is inconsistent, the misfit is consistent. The grandmother has built her moral code on the characteristics she believes make people “good,” but when she finds herself in a crisis, she is unable to pray and even begins to doubt the power and divinity of Jesus.