A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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Despite The Misfit showing characteristics of a good man, he is still a killer who has a elaborate relationship to religion. He presents characters such us blamelessness, nobility, paleness, and innocence which made The Misfit look good from the outside. Despite, the true looks, he still went ahead to kill the grandmother in cold blood even after the lady pleading with him and trying to touch him.
The book “a precise man is hard to find” by Flannery O’Connor’s has varying opinions on the perfect meaning. Most of them center on the Grandmother’s act to touch Misfit. “The grandmother’s final act is one of charity and grace which shows that the book was written to show her transformation as the time progresses (Cooley 520).” In the beginning, she concentrated more on how people viewed her such that “she was more concerned about looking like a good Christian rather than being one.” This is indicated by her motive to save her own life despite those around her dying as well as her selfish desire to move to Tennessee rather than Florida. On her final attempt to touch her killer after realizing she has not led a good life, she loses her life which is a final act of charity and grace. Despite her failure in touching The Misfit, the killer remarked that under the violence’s threat she would have been a good woman.

Secondly, the final grandmother’s act of touching the killer can be described as an act to save her self rather than that of chastity. The writer usually uses the excuse of “the moment of grace” in his book in a move to save it from violence and bloodshed. It is clear that “by the time the grandmother touches The Misfit, proclaiming he is her son, he is wearing Bailey’s shirt,” which is a move of saving her own life. Her selfishness was never overcome throughout the story, and she was seeking to save her skin by touching the killer. Despite the killer being affected, he still killed the grandmother in cold blood.

The grandmother keeps telling The Misfit that he is a good man throughout the narrative to try and get her family out of his attacks. They were running away from his criminal attacks while they considered heading to Tennessee rather than Florida. The grandmother refers him as a good man who comes from great people. The Misfit is good looking, and he comes from a perfect family. He smiled with strong white teeth which u would think he was a nobleman. He came from a good family as he states that “God never made a finer woman than my mother and my daddy’s heart was pure gold (O’Connor 45).” He says that the police only have one criminal record on him, but he was a cold murderer. Despite him being pale, defenselessness-looking or rimmed, he killed the grandmother. He seems to be a man who knows the Christian religion by the way he talks about Jesus Christ and him raising the dead, and it appears that he came from a religious family.


Hence, one’s look cannot define their personal identity. Just like The Misfit who was good looking and pale and later emerged to be a kill, it is clear that one cannot identify a criminal by the way they look or how they talk (Siderits 34). Hence, despite The Misfit looking like a good an, it is clear that he was a cold blood killer.

Work cited

O’Connor, Flannery. A good man is hard to find. New Canadian Library, 2015.

Cooley, Thomas. Back to the Lake: A Reader for Writers. WW Norton & Company, 2012.

Siderits, Mark. Personal identity and Buddhist philosophy: Empty persons. Routledge, 2016.

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