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
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.
“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.