A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O Connor

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The Misfit in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

In researching Flannery O’Connor’s short story “The Good Man Is Hard to Find” I found that most critics analyzed the Misfit and how he never quite fit into the world. One critic said that “[the Misfit] was able to murder the entire family without the slightest remorse;” he also felt that the misfit led a life of no meaning (Martin 65). Martin says this because he thinks “the misfit is unable to understand the problem of evil,” which I disagree with (65). Another critic said that the Misfit identifies himself with Christ and that the Misfit’s view on humanity is that it’s “burdened with guilt for unremembered transgressions” (Walters 72). Walters also focuses on the impact that
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This shows that he sees meaning in the meanness of the world. For example, when Bailey said something rude to his mother the Misfit tried to make her feel better. “Don’t you get upset. Sometimes a man says things he don’t mean” (O’Connor 477). He knows what Bailey said was mean and he didn’t approve. At another time in the story he does admit that “it’s no real pleasure in life” (O’Connor 481). He said this after he killed the grandma, which I think means that even though he takes pleasure in meanness like killing, he did not find pleasure in the killing of the grandmother. He then proceeds to tell one of his partners Bobby Lee to “shut up” when he makes a comment on how fun it was to shoot her (O’Connor 481). The Misfit does not want to talk about it because he did not enjoy the act of killing her at all (O’Connor 481). When he talks about being in prison for something he couldn’t remember he did show some signs of bitterness. He said “I call myself The Misfit, because I can’t make all what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment” (O’Connor 480). He doesn’t think he should have been in prison because he knows he didn’t kill his father. He tells the grandma that “the head doctor at the penitentiary said what I had done was kill my daddy but I known that…show more content…
This was true because he knew exactly how he felt about his imprisonment and about not remembering why he was there to begin with. “It was the same case with [Jesus] as with me except He hadn’t committed any crime and they could prove I had committed one because they had the papers on me…” (O’Connor 480). Even though his feelings about being punished weren’t positive he still knows exactly how he felt about his imprisonment. He felt that “the crime don’t matter, because sooner or later you’re going to forget what it was that you’ve done and be punished for it.” (O’Connor 480) I also think he meant that it didn’t matter what you did in life, if something was meant to happen to you it’s going to happen regardless of how someone tries to prevent it. He seems wise more so than guilty about anything. Like when he says to the grandmother, “does it seem right to you, lady, that one is punished a heap and another ain’t punished at all?” (O’Connor 480). He is speaking with logic about how the world goes about punishment and how he disagrees with their decisions. Some critics see this as him just trying turn things around to benefit himself and to make himself seem less evil, but I see it as his is just trying to understand the world. He also seems very wise when talking to the grandmother about his character. “Nome, I ain’t a good man,’
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