Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND
A STROKE OF GOOD FORTUNE
Ruby is a woman in her early thirties who is married and lives in an apartment in town. She was the oldest of several children, and she remembers her mother's childbearing with dread. She is certain she is very sick, but that thirty-four isn't old. All through the story she is trying to walk up the stairs to her apartment, but is very weary.
Ruby's brother has come to live with the Hill's after being discharged from the army. Ruby had hoped that he would be changed by the army, by the traveling in Europe and other experiences, but he is still the same Rufus, no imagination. Her evidence for this is that he wants to eat collard greens, nothing fancier than that. The little town where he and Ruby grew up is no longer there for him to go home to.
Bill is Ruby's husband, who has been the one to take care of their contraceptive needs. He works, is a "good" man, and likes it that Ruby is fat, lately.
Ruby's neighbor Laverne is her good friend. Laverne is funny, smokes, and provokes Ruby. She has lots of boyfriends, and is the first person to actually tell Ruby that she looks pregnant. She doesn't' mind Ruby getting mad at her, and knows it won't last.
Ruby Hill can't figure out why she is feeling so sick.
Protagonist and Antagonist
Ruby is the character whose welfare we are most concerned with, and could be considered the protagonist. She is afraid of death and motherhood, and considers them firmly connected. It is Laverne who delivers the awful news.
When Laverne tells Ruby that she is pregnant, Ruby is shocked and appalled and angry.
Ruby leaves Laverne's apparent and sits on the stairs and it begins to dawn on her that her life is finished, taken over by the thing inside her.