A Good Man is Hard to Find

The patriarch of the story’s central family, Bailey is the Grandmother’s son and June Star and John Wesley’s father. Despite the constant distractions from his mother and children, he simply wants to go on a trip to Florida as planned. He is reluctant to take a detour to visit the house that the Grandmother remembers, and only gives in to stop being harassed by his children. Bailey seems to be a weary and irritable figure, worn down by the constant conflict in his family—particularly his mother’s self-righteous nagging and his children’s insolence.

Bailey 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 or refer to Bailey. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer 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

“I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did.”

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

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“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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur

The grandmother was curled up under the dashboard, hoping she was injured so that Bailey’s wrath would not come down on her all at once.

Related Characters: The Grandmother, Bailey
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“Listen,” Bailey began, “we’re in a terrible predicament! Nobody realizes what this is,” and his voice cracked. His eyes were as blue and intense as the parrots in his shirt and he remained perfectly still.

Related Characters: Bailey (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Grandmother’s Hat
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

There were two more pistol reports and the grandmother raised her head like a parched old turkey hen crying for water and called, “Bailey Boy, Bailey Boy!” as if her heart would break.

Related Characters: The Grandmother (speaker), Bailey
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Bailey Character Timeline in A Good Man is Hard to Find

The timeline below shows where the character Bailey 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
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...the Grandmother would rather go to Tennessee. She shows a newspaper article to her son Bailey, whose house she lives in. The article tells of an escaped convict known as the... (full context)
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... (full context)
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...and is hiding a basket with their cat, Pitty Sing, in it. Against her son Bailey’s wishes, the Grandmother has brought the cat out of fear that it would miss her... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Goodness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...Grandmother 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... (full context)
Goodness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
The Grandmother holds Bailey’s youngest child, the baby. As they pass a graveyard, the Grandmother notes that it used... (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... (full context)
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
...The house was lavish and ornate, and she remembers how to get there. Knowing that Bailey will not want to visit, the Grandmother lies, saying there was a secret panel somewhere... (full context)
Goodness Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
...of the house, and John Wesley speculates about the placement of the secret panel. But Bailey says that they can’t go inside because people probably live there. John Wesley suggests that... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Bailey swerves when the cat attacks him, and the car crashes. The grandchildren are knocked to... (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... (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
As Bailey attempts to explain their situation, the Grandmother interrupts, shouting, “You’re the Misfit!” The man in... (full context)
Goodness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
Moral Decay Theme Icon
...he should not call himself “the Misfit” because he must be good at heart. “Hush,” Bailey demands, saying that he will handle it. Hiram says that the car will take half... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
The Misfit instructs Hiram and Bobby Lee to take Bailey and John Wesley over to the woods, telling Bailey that his men need to ask... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Goodness Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...and “borrowed these from some folks we met.” The Grandmother offers an extra shirt from Bailey’s suitcase. (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
...Lee and Hiram arrive back from the woods, one of them carrying the shirt that Bailey was wearing. The Misfit asks for the shirt and puts it on. The Misfit explains... (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
Two more gunshots ring out from the forest. The Grandmother raises her head and shouts “Bailey Boy!” once again. The Misfit states that only Jesus could raise the dead, and that... (full context)