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

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Why does the Misfit say that the grandmother "would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life"? "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Misfit says that the grandmother would have been a good woman if she had had someone there to shoot her every minute because he feels abject disgust towards her. In the context of the Misfit's intensely negative feelings, his statement about the grandmother can be understood in two ways:

Firstly, the Misfit might mean that the grandmother would have been a good woman if she had lived every minute with her life under threat. Someone there to shoot her every minute might have given her reason to pause in her normal behaviors; if her life was in danger every minute of her existence, she may have have been more careful about how she spoke and to whom. Because none of her protestations had any effect at all on the Misfit, and in fact, they seemed to exacerbate his antipathy, the Misfit may have stated his dislike of her and her comments in a particularly violent way.

Another, darker reading of this statement by the Misfit suggests that he thinks that the the grandmother could have...

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