In O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," what type of man is the Misfit?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," the Misfit is an escaped convict who has been in jail for murdering his father. Of course, the Misfit claims that his father "died in nineteen ought nineteen of the epidemic flu" and that he is innocent. When the grandmother asks the escapee why he thinks he went to jail, though, he says that he can't remember. It is interesting how he describes himself because he mentions many normal life experiences that he has had. For example, the Misfit says that he served in the armed forces, was married twice, and has worked on railroads, on farms, and as an undertaker. These jobs all seem honorable compared to a criminal's life and prison. However, what the Misfit says about himself is different than how he acts. He and his friends kill a young family of four along with the grandmother, which doesn't seem consistent with any type of normal or honorable life. Based on the fact that actions speak louder than words, the Misfit, therefore, is not only a murderer, but he is also a liar to himself and others.

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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