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A Change Too Late
In O\'Connor\'s " A Good Man Is Hard to Find," a power struggle between the Grandmother and "The Misfit," altars the Grandmother\'s prospective on life. The Grandmother is obstinate, narrow-minded, manipulative and materialistic. During a family trip; however, "The Misfit" creates a change in the Grandmother while trying to manipulate him into sparing her life. The self-centered judgmental women comes to accept a person that she would have never dream of speaking to; therefore, "The Misfit" is the catalyst in the Grandmother\'s behavior.
The Grandmother wants to change the itinerary of the family trip. Visiting some friends in Tennessee is her agenda. For instance, the Grandmother comes into the room hollering at her son Bailey, "\'See read this, The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida,\'" she goes on to say, "\'I would not take my children in that direction with a criminal like that aloose. I could not answer to my conscience if I did.\'" It appears that she may be worried about family safety until her next statement: "\' The children have been to Florida before, you ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They never have been to Tennessee before.\'" But the woman is not concerned at all about safety; she wants to go to Tennessee to her that was all that matters. The Grandmothers\' manipulation skills do not succeed; the family loads up for Florida. Everybody is dressed in comfortable clothes; however, she is dressed as if she is going to church.
The road trip consists of the Grandmother critiquing the children\'s behavior and her stories of her young adulthood. After lunch The Grandmother persuades Bailey to hunt down an old plantation she knew as a teenager. An accident caused by the Grandmother\'s cat leaves the family stranded on the side of the road. Not to long after the accident, a car comes to help. Three men get out of the car and after a conversation for a few moments the Grandmother realizes they are faced with "The Misfit." "\'You’re the Misfit! I recognized you at once,\'" the Grandmother is yelling. "The Misfit" orders Hiram and Bobby Lee to take Bailey and John Wesley off to the woods. The Grandmother screams, "\'Come back this instant!\'" It is a situation that the Grandmother has no control over; there is nothing she can do. She tries to convince "The Misfit" that "he could be honest if he tries"; she reminds him "how nice it would be if he did not have to worry about people chasing him." The Grandmother is trying to get through to this man, he needs to know about other choices; it is not too late. After a gun shot in the woods the grandmother really begins to tell him to pray. She pleads with him more; if he prays Jesus will help him. The Misfit sends the mother, June Star, and the baby with Hiram and Bobby Lee. Now the old lady is screaming Jesus, Jesus but almost in a vain way. The gunshots are heard again! The old lady is now in shock telling "The Misfit" "he has blood, he would not shoot a woman."
Now she is starting to doubt Jesus by saying that maybe he did not raise the dead. The Grandmother is dizzy and sinks down into a ditch. They continue to discuss religion. "The Misfit" wishes he had been there to see Jesus then he might know the truth. "The Misfit" feels he could have been a different man. The Grandmother feels "The Misfit\'s" pain and regret. The Misfit begins to talk to her, his eyes full of tears. "\'Why you\'re one of my babies. Your one of my own children!\'" This is the moment when the readers are aware of her total acceptance of "The Misfit." He killed, lied, and stole but it was okay; the Grandmother can accept him for whoever he is. She reaches out to him and he shoots her three times in the chest.
"The Misfit" was the catalyst in all of the Grandmother\'s changes. We were introduced to a manipulative and materialistic woman. After
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A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Misfit
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