A Good Man is Hard to Find

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Bailey’s Wife (the Mother) Character Analysis

Bailey’s wife, who is never named, is described as having a face “as broad and innocent as a cabbage.” She is John Wesley and June Star’s mother, and the Grandmother’s daughter-in-law. For most of the story, she goes along with whatever the rest of the family is doing. Like the rest of her family, she eventually is executed by the Misfit and his henchmen.

Bailey’s Wife (the Mother) Quotes in A Good Man is Hard to Find

The A Good Man is Hard to Find quotes below are all either spoken by Bailey’s Wife (the Mother) or refer to Bailey’s Wife (the Mother). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Farrar, Strauss and Giroux edition of A Good Man is Hard to Find published in 1971.
A Good Man is Hard to Find Quotes

“You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They never have been to East Tennessee.”

Related Characters: The Grandmother (speaker), Bailey, Bailey’s Wife (the Mother), John Wesley, June Star
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:

The grandmother is again using manipulation to goad the family into doing what she wants, which is to vacation in Tennessee. She frames this as being good for the children, since it would broaden their horizons and show them a new part of the country. However, this seems disingenuous since nobody, including the children, wants to go to Tennessee except her, and the narrator indicates that she is mostly just interested in visiting her "personal connections" in Tennessee. This suggests that the trip is motivated more by personal nostalgia than a real commitment to enriching the grandchildren.

The grandmother is also consumed by her belief that the goodness and propriety of society is eroding. Here she appears to appeal to that notion, stating that the grandchildren should be broadly traveled in order to be good, proper citizens. However, her self-serving motivations cast doubt on the sincerity of this seemingly deeply-held belief. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other A Good Man is Hard to Find quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Good Man LitChart as a printable PDF.
A good man is hard to find.pdf.medium

Bailey’s Wife (the Mother) Character Timeline in A Good Man is Hard to Find

The timeline below shows where the character Bailey’s Wife (the Mother) appears in A Good Man is Hard to Find. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Good Man is Hard to Find
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
Bailey ignores the Grandmother, so she then turns to Bailey’s wife , an innocent-looking woman holding a baby. The Grandmother insists that the children—her own grandchildren—have... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Goodness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...sitting in the back with John Wesley and June Star. In the front sit Bailey, Bailey’s wife , and their baby. The grandmother records the car’s mileage, thinking that it would be... (full context)
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
The family enters The Tower, and Red Sam’s wife takes their orders. Bailey’s wife puts music on the jukebox, and the Grandmother asks Bailey if he wants to dance,... (full context)
Goodness Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
...go inside because people probably live there. John Wesley suggests that they sneak in, but Bailey’s wife says no. The Grandmother thinks nostalgically back to the days without paved roads. After some... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...the cat attacks him, and the car crashes. The grandchildren are knocked to the floor, Bailey’s wife is thrown out the door clutching her baby, and the Grandmother is thrown into the... (full context)
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
...John Wesley asks what he has a gun for, and the man with glasses asks Bailey’s wife to collect and calm her children. “What are you telling US what to do for?”... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Goodness Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
...matter,” because eventually he will forget what he did and “just be punished for it.” Bailey’s wife begins to breathe heavily, and the Misfit asks her to accompany Bobby Lee and Hiram... (full context)