A Good Man Is Hard to Find Questions and Answers
by Flannery O’Connor

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In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," what does the Misfit mean by his remark, "She would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life"?

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The Misfit is referring to the concept of grace, a state of spiritual favor granted freely by God. In Christian theology, grace is not earned but given as a gift to the unworthy. To be in a state of grace is to be unified with God, which is what happens to the grandmother during the climax of "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

The grandmother is a highly flawed character: she's racist, snobby, dishonest, and thoughtless. When she encounters the Misfit, she initially views him as a bad man, someone lesser than herself. However, the Misfit's emotional breakdown changes something in the grandmother: she suddenly sees him as a broken human being like herself rather than as a criminal beneath her. This is what she means when she calls him "one of my own little babies": she suddenly views him the way God would, as a person in need of love.

After killing the grandmother, the Misfit claims she needed someone to shoot her every moment of her life because she only received this grace-infused clarity when...

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