The story opens with the self-righteous grandmother trying to manipulate her son, Bailey. The family is planning a trip to Florida, but the grandmother wants to go Tennessee. She has tried to persuade him to change the trip, but he will not listen. The grandmother finds an article in the local newspaper about an escaped convict, the Misfit. She tries to convince Bailey the family should go a different direction because the Misfit is on the loose. “Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscience if I did” (O’Connor 356). The grandmother indicates she has a strong conscience, yet she continually lies throughout the story. If she really let her conscience guide her, then she would be more concerned about her own actions.
The next day as the family gets r...
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...ied throughout the story. As Hiram and Bobby Lee return from the woods they look down at the body of the grandmother in the ditch. The Misfit tells them “She would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life” (O’Connor 368). The Misfit is saying if the grandmother had been afraid for her life, she would have made the right choices and been a better person. This refers back to the theme of the story. No one is morally upright and perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and there are no degrees to morality. A dishonest deed or action is always wrong regardless of how small the deed may be viewed in the eyes of the perpetrator.
O’Conner, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” The Backpack Literature: An Introduction To Fiction. Eds. X. J. Kennedy and Danna Gloria. New York: Longman, 2010. 355-368. Print.
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