A Good Man is Hard to Find

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Red Sam’s Wife Character Analysis

Red Sam’s wife serves the family when they stop for sandwiches at Red Sam Butts’ filling station. She chats with the family and is chastised for taking too long to serve them by her husband. She is thinks June Star is adorable, even when June Star insults her home. Like her husband, she too puts on a show of “Southern hospitality,” and expresses the sentiment that people have gotten less moral in modern times.

Red Sam’s Wife Quotes in A Good Man is Hard to Find

The A Good Man is Hard to Find quotes below are all either spoken by Red Sam’s Wife or refer to Red Sam’s Wife. 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

“Ain’t she cute?” Red Sam’s wife said, leaning over the counter. “Would you like to come be my little girl?”
“No I certainly wouldn’t,” June Star said. “I wouldn’t live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks!”

Related Characters: June Star (speaker), Red Sam’s Wife (speaker)
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:

O'Connor has created a grandmother whose character is thoroughly revolting, but she does not present readers with a contrasting character who is moral and good. This has the disorienting effect of forcing readers to confront each character's failings rather than identifying with one who is "good" and reviling the others. This exchange further confirms that in addition to the grandmother being hypocritical and selfish, the children are likewise disrespectful and even unkind. June Star's willingness to insult a stranger who is serving her food is disturbing, particularly since the woman is actively trying to be nice to her. As the story advances, it becomes more and more clear that the family depicted is dysfunctional. It doesn't seem that anybody has been raised to be respectful and kind, and in this exchange in particular readers are forced to ask if June Star has inherited some of her grandmother's classism, as the reason she gives for not wanting to stay there is that the place is "broken-down." 

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Red Sam’s Wife Character Timeline in A Good Man is Hard to Find

The timeline below shows where the character Red Sam’s Wife 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
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... (full context)
Goodness Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
...gas to the mill. The Grandmother says he is a “good man” for doing so. Red Sam’s wife comes over, delivers the food, and agrees that nobody can be trusted these days. (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Goodness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
The Grandmother asks if Red Sam and his wife have read about the Misfit. Red Sam’s wife says that she wouldn’t be surprised if the Misfit attacked their restaurant, but Red Sam... (full context)