A Good Man is Hard to Find

The Grandmother’s Hat Symbol Analysis

The Grandmother’s Hat Symbol Icon

The Grandmother, in stark contrast to her family’s more casual dress, wears a fancy hat on their trip, confident that, if she ends up killed in a car accident, she will be found looking like a proper lady. Her concern for how she will be perceived after death shows that she is concerned with the appearance of respectability (and the morality that she associates with it) more than the reality of being moral or “respectable.” The Grandmother’s hat also makes it clear that she does not truly embrace the finality of dying. While the Misfit believes that the finality of death makes all Earthly efforts absurd and meaningless, the Grandmother buys into a more conventional view of mortality—focusing on appearances and not thinking too closely about the reality of death. It is no coincidence that the Grandmother’s hat is then destroyed when the family does get into a car accident. For all of the Grandmother’s attempts to prepare for a respectable death, she cannot control her fate once the harsh chaos of life (personified in the Misfit) interrupts her narrow world. Executed in a ditch by a known criminal, her death is far from orderly and proper. Rather than being identified as a “proper lady,” her body may never be found at all.

The Grandmother’s Hat Quotes in A Good Man is Hard to Find

The A Good Man is Hard to Find quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Grandmother’s Hat. 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

Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.

Related Characters: The Grandmother
Related Symbols: The Grandmother’s Hat
Page Number: 118
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 n

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!

“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.

Get the entire Good Man LitChart as a printable PDF.
A good man is hard to find.pdf.medium

The Grandmother’s Hat Symbol Timeline in A Good Man is Hard to Find

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Grandmother’s Hat 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
Goodness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...front sit Bailey, Bailey’s wife, and their baby. The grandmother records the car’s mileage, thinking that it would be fun to see how many miles they have driven when they get... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...door clutching her baby, and the Grandmother is thrown into the front seat, her fancy hat partially destroyed. The car has rotated a full 360 degrees on its side, and now... (full context)
Violence and Grace Theme Icon
Punishment and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Familial Conflict and Familial Love Theme Icon
...and Bobby Lee to take Bailey and John Wesley over to the woods, telling Bailey that his men need to ask him something. Bailey says, “We’re in a terrible predicament! Nobody... (full context)