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Keep the faith, baby!

O'Connor, ''A Good Man is Hard to Find'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"'I wisht I had of been there...if I had of been there I would of known and I wouldn't be like I am now.'"

This quote really sums up a lot of things for me. The Misfit lives his life constantly questioning whether it matters or not that he lead an upright, moral life. It all depends on whether or not there really is eternal life and salvation. His moral uncertainty is contrasted with the grandmother's epiphany at the end when she says "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!" Right before she dies, she expresses a very Christian sentiment of compassion and brotherhood. When the Misfit says the grandmother would have been a good person if somebody would've been there to shoot her every minute of her life, I think he's saying that being presented with death forces people to try to make meaning out of their lives. Once you are imbued with a sense of meaning and purpose, you will do good things. If you don't know what life is for, like the Misfit, you do bad things either out of hedonistic purposes or because you want to test whether or not there is some higher judgment. I think O'Connor's saying that while you can never be sure of what lies beyond, not believing in anything leads to destructive behavior. Goodness only comes from faith and therefore moral certainty.

Comments (1)


I agree with you. Do you think the grandmother would have been so nice to The Misfit if her life and her families wasn't being threatened!? I really didn't like her character thoughout the entire short story. She was stubborn, selfish, and pretty annoying through the whole story and didn't say anything nice about anyone until she was in a predicament.

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