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A Good Man Is Hard To Find: Why Misfit Kills Essay


Why Does the Misfit Kill?

A Good Man is hard to Find written by Flannery OConnor is about a family, with three kids and a grandmother, who is on driving out of town for a relaxing vacation. This family is heading towards an area where a convict named the Misfit has recently broken out of prison. This convict ends up randomly coming upon this family after a horrible car crash. By the end of the story, the Misfit ends up killing the whole family. Even though the Misfit kills this family, he is not fully responsible for his actions. The Misfit kills because he has had a terrible childhood, he is mentally unstable, and he simply likes what he does.

The Misfit is a killer, but may not be responsible for all of his actions because of his awful childhood. While he was a child his own father did not think he was normal, "My daddy said I was a different breed of dog from my brothers and sisters" (O'Connor). This quote proves that he was different from the beginning. His dad was implying that he was born with some mental problems and that it was very noticeable. While he was a child he saw some pretty gruesome things. For example, the Misfit said, '"...seen a man burnt alive once'" and "'I even seen a woman flogged"' (O'Connor). These are two very disturbing memories that could have been the reason for the Misfits bad childhood. Not only did the Misfit have a bad childhood, he was also mentally unstable.

Another reason for the Misfit's actions is the fact that he is mentally unstable. These symptoms may have been started during his time in the armed services, "'Been in the arm service both land and sea'" (O'Connor). This is a very huge trigger for mental illness because many people out of the armed services end up with some kind of problems and if they are not treated they can turn out to be very bad. The Misfit also mentions that he does not remember what he had done and that the crime you do does not matter, "'I found out the crime don't matter. You can do one thing or you can do another, kill a man or take a tire off his car, because sooner or later you're going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it'" (O'Connor). This is a sign that he has a mental illness. The Misfit has come to the point where he does not admit what he has done and just wants to think that he has done nothing. Where there are reasons that the Misfit is not responsible for his actions, I think that there are also some reasons that make him fully responsible.

Other than his terrible childhood and his mental illness, the Misfit also enjoys killing people. The Misfit says, "'I don't want no hep,'" he said. '"I'm doing all right by myself"' (O'Connor). The Misfit says this even though he is a brutal killer. He obviously thinks what he is doing is ok. Another reason I think that the Misfit enjoys killing is his attitude in front of the grandmother after he had killed her son and grandsons. He acts comfortable and selfless like he has done nothing wrong and he does not care about the grandmothers emotions. When he says, "'Throw me that shirt, Bobby Lee"' (O'Connor). After he says this he proceeds by putting the sons shirt on rite in front of the grandmother. Only a killer could do that to a poor old woman. Regardless of his childhood and mental illness the Misfit is a stone cold killer.

The Misfit's terrible childhood and mental illness are no excuses for his actions. Whereas his attitude towards killing is the overall reason. This means that the Misfit is totally responsible for his actions. I do not believe in murderers that blame their actions on their past or their illnesses so this story is a perfect example of my views on murderers.

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