I think that Flannery OConnors short story A Good Man is Hard to Find is written partially to send people who have not yet fully accepted the Christian faith a good message in order to accept and believe in our Lord. OConner herself, being a strong believer in Christianity, probably thought that writing this story will help make people who arent really living by the Christian rules to seriously consider doing so. The story didnt really reveal the true light of God and the power of God until the end.
An example of this in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" involves the grandmother's strong, southern heritage. She dresses with the intention that anyone who finds her dead on the road will know she was a lady (pg 2) and she is always telling stories of southern gentlemen courting her. Then, the Misfit, whom she says she "knows, is of quality who has southern blood, who at the end of the story shoots her and her family, despite her belief in southern hospitality. Grandma is a woman who believes in God, but it seems that her belief isnt really strong up until the end of the story with her confrontation with the Misfit. That is when she shows her true colors. Throughout the story, it seems that she wasnt fully portraying her true self. Through out the whole story she always seemed to have an underlying annoyance and overall irritation. she gave the impression that she didnt have much affection or even love towards her son, until she knew he was gone. She didnt notice what she had until she lost it, all at once.
From what I understand, most of Flannery OConnors works follow a very similar pattern. The main character is usually in some kind of trouble and at the end he or she sees the true light of Gods ways and has redemption in their life. The immoral character of the Misfit is very skillfully portrayed, as is the character of Grandma. Most of the characters in A Good Man is Hard to Find and, probably in her other work go through some kind of transformation; a change in their views of the world and in their understanding about life and death. Such character in this particular story is Grandma and, in my opinion, the Misfit. I think that the Misfit is constantly experiencing a deep inner struggle and this is revealed in his conversation with Grandma before he kills her at the end. Of course, OConners witty description of this, helps the reader to identify some very complicated details of the Misfits behavior, which are the key in determining the Misfits state of mind. Those details are his gestures, his speech, and his thoughts.
Maybe, in a way, the Misfit represents the new generation of young and religiously misguided people and Grandma symbolizes the old generation which has grown somewhat distanced from religion. In my opinion this can be seen as a missionary concept. Someone in the story is converted to stronger faith in God, and therefore a possible conversion for the reader; which is the author objective. Flannery OConnor probably hoped to provoke her readers as well a m make them re-consider their own spiritual views and ideals of our Lord.