As many commentators argue, the grandmother's epiphanic recognition of her kinship with the desperate figure belatedly redeems her from a life that has been petty, materialistic, and selfish.
Her child-like expression as she collapses with crossed legs into her own grave has been suggested as a symbol of her sudden accession to Christian grace.
Derided for her concern, she responds by concealing her cat in the car against her son's wishes.
During their long trip through Georgia the grandmother relates the story of a nearby plantation house with a secret panel.
I do think, though, that like the Greeks you should know what is going to happen in this story so that any element of suspense in it will be transferred from its surface to its interior.
I would be most happy if you had already read it, happier still if you knew it well, but since experience has taught me to keep my expectations along these lines modest, I'll tell you that this is the story of a family of six which, on its way driving to Florida, gets wiped out by an escaped convict who calls himself the Misfit.
Major Themes With rare, but significant, exceptions most critics accept O'Connor's description of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" as a tale of redemptive grace in a fallen world.
The story's religious concerns are expressed through a series of motifs and emblems, cleverly muted by O'Connor's superficially naturalistic style.
He responds by complaining that Jesus offers him no choice between blind faith or violent nihilism, and his pain unexpectedly moves the grandmother to a feeling of kinship.
As she reaches out to touch him, however, he reacts by shooting her three times in the chest.