Sheis an old woman who lives with a man called Bailey together with hisfamily. She is a stubborn woman who sticks to her opinion evenwithout the consideration of others, she never wanted to visitFlorida as the rest of the family but wanted to visitin east Tennessee. She is also very compelling, she almost convincedmisfit that he was a good man and she got a moment of grace as shewas the last one killed. Her old age affects her in such a way thatshe easily forgets and this leads them to a wrong path that gets allof them killed. The lady possess a static behavior in that she doesnot appreciate the change that have occurred with time, instead shethinks current society has undergone deterioration. I do sympathizewith the character since she does not meet her interest to go toTennessee as the family prefer Florida. The children are importantcharacters since they support the grandma to go the olden house wherethey meet their death. The grandma is a source of conflict sincedisagree with family members in almost everything especially whichplace they should visit. The main characteristic of the grandma isthat she very forgetful in that she has forgotten so much about herpast and she is even wrong about the direction she is giving. She isalso romantic as he describes how her courtship was and this tell usthat she is was happy about it.
Heis an enemy of the state, a criminal who kills a family when they arecaught by car accident. The character is affected by his past. He wasonce a good man but was put in jail for no good reason in thistransform him to the criminal he has become. He is static when itcomes to behavior since even after a mentorship talk from an oldgrandma, he does not change but goes ahead and kill her. Thecharacter is not to be sympathized with since he kills innocentpeople for revenge of the evils done to him by other people. BobbyLee and Hiram support misfit in all that he does and they are asource of conflict, if they were not supporting what misfit wasdoing, he could perhaps get his right mind back.
Mypoint of view
Thestory is neither told by the main character nor any other characterin the story. The story is told by a third person. The character Ifollow most closely is the grandmother since she is mysterious andthis creates the urge to unfold her. My point of view changes fromone person to another as I am able to see sense as the story goesalong. The grandmother was right about the existence of misfit eventhough at that point she appeared stubborn. The author shows thewords and action of Bailey but not his thoughts, this createssuspense which makes the story interesting since one is not aware ofwhat actions they will do next.
Thestyle and symbolism
Thetone is cynical since the one laughs at the character as theirtriviality is exposed. Illustrated by:
Sheknew that Bailey would not be willing to lose any time looking at anold house, but the more she talked about it, the more she wanted tosee it once again and find out if the little twin harbors were stillstanding. "There was a secret panel in this house," shesaid craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were…
Thelanguages used is elevated since most of the terms used are notcommonly used e.g. accidentallyasphyxiate. The story is not realistic since it is hardly to haveonly one passerby, the story claim that it was only misfit who wasaround that area alone. The gun shots could be heard from far and wecould expect that police men would appear almost immediately. Thestory is told by a third party, this makes dialogue a smaller part ofthe story. The author uses symbolism right from the title ‘A goodman is hard to find’, the grandmother argues with her son when shewarns her about the dangers that are Florida but he does not listen,this is illustrated by:
."Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is a loose fromthe Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what itsays he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn`t take mychildren in any direction with a criminal like that a loose in it. Icouldn`t answer to my conscience if I did. "This clearly relatesto the theme since misfit is also another man who cannot be describedto good.
Themajor theme is revenge, the heart of misfit has been changed by whathe encountered in the prison for actions he never committed. "Inever was a bad boy that I remember of," as he tell thegrandmother.
Thesole confrontation between misfit and grandmother alludes to Jesus.Out of the text Jesus forms the basis of Christian religion. Thegrandmother comes up with the issue of praying to Jesus and suggestsit to misfit to see if he can be redeemed. Misfit says that, "Jesuswas the only One that ever raised the dead," this brings outclearly the aspect of religion as embodied in the mind of thecharacter even though they do practice it.
Thestory shocked me because the advice of the grandmother was ultimatelytrue but it just appeared to be a made up story about the man calledmisfit. The grandma sounded as if she told stories of the old whichwere completely out of the real world, but shockingly the wholefamily met their death in the hands of the misfit. To somebody whoargues I would say that a shift in tone is a flaw in the story sincethey would have made wrong judgment about the story. The storycontain so many suspense and somebody who argues could have madewrong predictions about the happening of events.
Goodis defined to mean that even bad people can change. The definitiondoes not change since bad people like misfit remain in their criminalstate. The grandmother uses the word good to the wrong people suchthat it ends up losing it true meaning. When Red Sammy some putsforth an idea that people are generally untrustworthy, thegrandmother points out that he is an exceptionally good man. In herjudgement, she considers aspects such as blind faith and poorjudgement as good. She ask misfit if he had the courage to kill awoman which according to her, being a lady is what matters. The actof calling misfit good was out of desperation that she could live alittle longer.
Misfithas redeeming qualities since she gives the grandmother unexpectedgrace. The grandmother means that misfit is just like one of his ownson and this because, she recognizes that she is also possess acharacter like that of misfit in that she lies to her grandchildren.The grandmother has redeeming qualities given that she talks aboutprayers although she does not confess to her family that she led themon a wrong path. Misfit responds by putting bullets in her chest toprove that she was wrong since misfit was unrepentant murderer.
O`Connor,Flannery. Agood man is hard to find.Harvest Books, 1955.