Viewing The Misfit as a tragic figure, we sympathize with his actions and feel remorse for who he has become. The readers see him as a victim and sympathize for his actions, including killing the elderly Grandmother. Although he is an awful person, because he is a male character, it is acceptable for him to have issues, but it is not acceptable for a woman to have any sort of issue. As the Misfits says, “She would have been a good woman...if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life” (O’Connor), this suggests that the Grandmother was an awfully annoying woman, but if she had a man there to keep her in line, she would have been a decent
Due to their similar attributes, the grandmother and Misfit are not drastically different. Neither the grandmother nor the Misfit are purely good or evil; however, they do represent a general reputation of good and evil, respectively. Upon closer inspection, however, there is one fundamental difference between the two characters’ personalities: admission of wrongdoing. This is such a significant distinction that some critics argue that the Misfit’s character is not as corrupted as the grandmother’s because “the Misfit openly acknowledges his evil,” compared to the grandmother’s façade (Desmond). Due to this, the grandmother is not able to connect with the Misfit because she is hiding behind of a false appearance.
In another quote the grandmother implies that the misfit is a good man by stating, "Yes it's a beautiful day," said the grandmother. "Listen, " she said, "You shouldn't call yourself the misfit because I know you're a good man at heart. I can just look at you and tell" (421). The grandmother doesn't know the misfit from Adam, yet she already gave him a persona that he has to match. Besides the grandmother has already called Red Sammy a good man, and by now it is already apparent that its feigned.
As opposed to the Grandmothers constant change of morals to favor certain situations, the Misfit has morals that are set in stone and adhere to his past, present and future. As the two characters converse, religion sparks an interest in the Misfit because it is something he is interested in understanding but knowing it must not be true. He believes that he must see it with his own eyes to prove the existence. His concept of reality also relates himself to Jesus, so much so as to believe he is a realistic representation of Him. He goes on to tell that the only difference is between the crimes committed and the proof held against him.
The Misfit and Arnold Friend both provide to be effective authoritative predators in persuading their victims to follow their directives which ultimately lead to their unfortunate deaths and abduction. Both characters in each of these short stories also exhibited insinuated religious implications that related them mainly to two major figures in religion, Jesus and the Devil. After analyzing The Misfit and Arnold's relationship with their respective main characters, many differences were also noted that separated them as individual manipulators that each performed their own tasks to get what they
The Misfit was a purely evil character while the Grandmother had good intentions. Color symbolism was used throughout the story to give an insight of what is going to happen eventually. The animals also played a large portion of the symbolism attached to… The Misfit along with Hiram and Bobby Lee were all purely evil characters that killed everyone in his way.
Both stories “ A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor and “ The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula LeGuin contain elements of sin and redemption. In both of the stories sin is caused by intentional acts of humans, yet in the story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, some decide to leave the city in search of another city, also giving them redemption. In “ A Good Man is Hard to Find” redemption is offered many times even though those who need it don’t deserve it. In the end of “The Ones Who Walk Away” LeGuin uses specific diction to show that the citizens of the town have sinned and need redemption. O’Connor takes a different approach by showing that people who do not seek redemption often enough are handed it, while those who seek redemption may be given it.
The Misfit 's mind is one of the most complicated of any villain in O 'Connor’s stories and in all literature. His mental state is most evident in "the scene between the Grandmother and the Misfit at the climax of the story" (Walls 3) This recent escapee 's psyche can be described as "tails short of the athlete’s morality, for he plays by no one 's rules except his own" (Fike). This mental state is typical of most criminals but the Misfit’s perception on religion is not so conventional. Usually, when a person commits a heinous act and if the person is spiritual they will say God told them to do it.
The family stops for lunch at “The Tower and meets a character called Red Sammie Butts. This is where the grandmother strikes up a conversation with him. They talk about how it was back in the olden days when there were good people and Red Sammy states, “A good man is hard to find,” (Lawrence 410). The Misfit is the second major character in the story after the grandmother. The Misfit is an escaped criminal who comes in contact with the grandmother and her family when they get into an accident on the road.
The grandmother grew in that moment of death more than she ever did in the little parts that we read about her life, and she dies in peace. Her actions may have even changed the Misfit too. At the end, he says “she would have been a good woman if he 'd been there all her life to shoot her.” (366). This line confused me the first time reading it, but the second time around it made more sense.
The violence that we do not get to see for ourselves are the crimes the Misfit committed before the story began. The story begins with the grandmother telling Bailey to “read here what it says he did to these people’” (O’Connor 575). These crimes are violent murders that the Misfit committed beforehand. This displays the criminal world that we live in.
The grotesque psychopathic nature of the characters in Flannery O’Connor’s, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” ironically shows how a good man does not truly exist through the revelation and proclamation of what characteristics a good man possess. In the story The Misfit shows characteristics of a psychopath by escaping prison and killing an innocent family. However, The Misfit isn’t the only character in the short story to show psychopathic tendencies. The grandma also shows some characteristics of a psychopath because she does not care or show remorse for her family who was brutally murdered
The misfit gains awareness of human morals when he kills the grandmother and he says, "She would have been a good woman...if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life" (O 'Connor 1020), he then realized that she wasn 't all that good. O 'Connor did a good job of interpreting the grandmother as a way to put away the values of the old Southern America; she also interprets the Misfit as a type of common man who is defiantly not perfect which can a realistic version of the new Southern America. In "A Good Man is Hard to Find", the irritating grandmother cares more about matters such as her appearance and manners, she dressed her best for the car ride and the reason for her doing this is so that "In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would at once know that she was a lady." (O 'Connor 1010). The grandmother is a very selfish woman, the first thing she said to the Misfit is "You wouldn 't shoot a lady, would you?"
. In this particular story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor uses grotesque actions and themes to create a plot twist that leaves readers on the edge of their seats. Southern Gothic is a genre which focuses on damaged, delusional characters. Contrastingly, when someone thinks of a grandmother, it is usually of sweet remembrances from when she told stories or gave extra sweet foods before dinner. The grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, which name remains unknown throughout the story, is portrayed as a manipulator and exceedingly puts her family in a life or death situation.