A Good Man Is Hard to Find Questions and Answers
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" in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor?

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At the end of "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the grandmother undergoes, in her terror and panic, a profound epiphany as to the shared humanity between herself and her murderer, reaching out to the Misfit even as he stands to kill her. This moment represents the moment of grace around which this entire story is structured: the grandmother, who had previously been characterized as selfish and judgmental, caring only for appearances and social pretenses, now experiences real empathy for another human being (and for her victimizer, no less). The Misfit's response represents a dark and cynical recognition of her change in character, on the part of the person who she was reaching out to (and who killed her).

It's an interesting line, when viewed from the perspective of the Misfit, who witnessed the grandmother's epiphany and whose own characterization displays the most extreme form of moral nihilism. As far as the Misfit is concerned, the universe and morality can be viewed along a binary:...

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