The song - a short acoustic number by The Fling - is by no means the first to use the saying. But a pivotal moment in the phrase's evolution occurred when Flannery O'Connor made it the title of one of her short stories in 1953. The second point is that high-falutin snobs are, in their own way, no better than the violent misfits of the world - maybe even worse. Yea, we are mad as they are mad, Yea, we are blind as they are blind, Yea, we are very sick and sad Who bring good news to all mankind. O'Connor's story has forever infused "a good man is hard to find" with this new meaning - not awkwardly imposed on the phrase from without, but naturally infused from within. The last line refers to O'Connor's description of the Misfit as having a "long creased face," and re-emphasizes this notion of being "marked," damaged, and in need of restoration. A family gets ready to vacation in Florida, but the grandmother tries to justify a visit to Tennessee instead, rationalizing her desire by citing a murderera€™s recent escape. On the way to Florida, the grandmother reminisces about the past and convinces Bailey to take a backroad to see an old house she remembers.
The family is led into the woods to be murdered, while the Misfit talks with the grandmother about his religious doubts. The Misfit shoots her and says if a€?it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her lifea€? she would have been a good woman.
When the family stops for lunch at a barbeque stand, their conversation again turns to the Misfit, and the adults agree that people are simply not as nice as they used to be.
Methodically, the henchmen lead first Bailey and then the mother and children off to be shot in the woods while the Misfit begins to talk about himself and his life of crime. From the beginning, Oa€™Connor is careful to distance the narration from the grandmothera€™s delusions, with judicious use of irony. This grotesque tale of sudden violence in the rural South opens quietly, with a family planning a vacation.
Ignoring the grandmothera€™s wishes and warnings, the family sets out the next morning for Florida. After they leave the roadhouse, the grandmother manipulates her son into making a detour to see an old plantation she once visited as a girl. As they emerge, an old, a€?hearse-likea€? automobile comes over the hill and stops for them. Although The Misfit rejects all the grandmothera€™s arguments, he listens to them closely; he pays particular attention when the grandmother refers to Jesus. O'Connor's story is told by a third-person narrator, but the focus is on the Grandmother's perspective of events. Surrealism is characterized by unexpected juxtapositions of fact and the fantastic andA non sequiturs. Liberal humanism is a school of thought that focuses on humans and their values and worth, choosing to reject religious beliefs and ignore them.
The song was a hit when it was first released, but became even more popular as a signature tune by singer Sophie Tucker. In this context, the grandmother's usual religious platitudes fall flat, and she is propelled into a truly "holy moment," maybe the first of her life.


Chesterton in one of his poems about the living Church, the community of believers in the world.
What was once a simple jazz tune about finding a decent boyfriend became - thanks to her brilliance - a commentary on the spiritual battle in the heart of humanity.
At first glance, his version seems to be treading the familiar territory of the earlier jazz versions. Mir gefallen Gouda Gouda Two Shoes, I Have a Herring Problem, Kiss Me on My Tulips und Wooden Shoe Like To Know? The escaped convict, called the Misfit, pulls up with his cronies, and the grandmother informs him that she recognizes him. In a moment of Christian sympathy, the grandmother informs the Misfit that he is one of her children.
The story focuses immediately on the grandmother, who wants to visit relatives in east Tennessee and who uses the escape of the Misfit, a murderer, from prison to try to persuade her son, Bailey, to change his mind.
Later, back in the car, the grandmother persuades Bailey to take a road which she imagines (wrongly, as it turns out) will lead by an old mansion. He blames his career on Jesus, who, he says, threw everything a€?off balancea€? by raising the dead.
Yet she knows something more, and suddenly she stops her empty prayers and meaningless assertions that the Misfit is a a€?good man,a€? to utter perhaps the truest words of her life in telling him that he is one of her own children.
As in most of her stories, the theme of identity in this story involves Oa€™Connora€™s Christian conviction about the role of sin, particularly the sin of pride, in distorting onea€™s true identity. After lamenting with a restaurant owner on the decline of gentilitya€”the scarcity of a€?good mena€? suggested by the titlea€”the family encounters the only character in the story with the sort of manners and external refinement that the grandmother values, and he turns out to be the Misfit. The husband, Bailey, his wife, and their children, John Wesley and June Star, all want to go to Florida. The grandmother settles herself in the car ahead of the others so that her son will not know that she has brought along her cat, Pitty Sing, hidden in a basket under her seat. Her head clears for an instant, in which she sees the murderer as thin, frail, and pathetic. When we think of tone we need to examine the diction or word choice and the action that a story contains. Early covers of the song also include those by Marion Harris (1919), Bessie Smith (1928), Brenda Lee (1960), and even Ol' Blue Eyes himself. He sings about a girl who "ain't got no time now for Casanovas," meditating on "the meanness in this world" after being left by her love. Suddenly the cat escapes its basket and jumps on Baileya€™s neck, and the car runs into the ditch. Because the Misfit cannot be sure that the miracle really occurred, he cannot know how to think about it.
At that, the Misfit shoots her, but he says that she would have been a good woman if someone had been there to shoot her every minute of her life. The focal character in the story, who is identified only as the grandmother, convinces herself and, she thinks, her family, that she is a good judge of human nature.
The grandmother opposes the idea, because an escaped killer known in the papers as the Misfit is supposedly headed toward Florida.


A further irony is that the grandmother is reflecting on her appearance and class in death, a time when neither matters much. She can tell by looking at him, the grandmother tells the Misfit, that he has no a€?common blooda€? in him, and the Misfit agrees. The grandmother, Baileya€™s mother, however, wants to go to east Tennessee, where she has relatives, and she determinedly attempts to persuade them to go there instead.
As the trip proceeds, she chatters away, pointing out interesting details of scenery, admonishing her son not to drive too fast, telling stories to the children.
She is so upset at this realization that she jumps up and upsets her valise, whereupon the cat jumps out onto her sona€™s shoulder, her son loses control of the car, the car overturns, and they all land in a ditch.
The grandmother, realizing that he intends to kill them, tries to talk him out of it by appealing to his chivalry, urging him not to shoot a lady. The two grandchildren, John Wesley and June Star, are quickly characterized as smart alecks who nevertheless understand their grandmother and her motives very well.
As the family assesses its injuries, a man who is obviously the Misfit drives up with his armed henchmen. If Jesus really raised the dead, the Misfit says, the only logical response would be to drop everything and follow him. Oa€™Connor intends the reader to take the Misfita€™s comments seriously (he is the most serious-minded character in the story, after all) and notice that the grandmother, in her moment of receiving grace, has recognized that she and the Misfit (and presumably all the rest of humanity) are related as children of God.
She has very clear ideas of the flaws in character and the influence of class that go to making a criminal such as the Misfit. The same irony reappears a few pages later when the grandmother tells her grandchildren, John Wesley and June Star, that she would have done well to marry a certain Mr. Unable to convince them that the trip to Tennessee will be novel and broadening for the children, the grandmother offers as a final argument a newspaper article that states that a psychopathic killer who calls himself The Misfit is heading toward Florida. Then she tries flattery, asserting that she can tell that he is a a€?good man.a€? She tries to tempt him by suggesting that he stop being an outlaw and settle down to a comfortable life. The grandmother immediately feels that she recognizes him as someone she has known all of her life, and she tells him that she knows who he is. The grandmothera€™s false sense of self-importance, which she sees as separating herself from vulgarity, which is represented by the Misfit, is a motif typical of Oa€™Connora€™s fiction, and the plot hinges on the revelation of the falseness of the grandmothera€™s self-image.
In short, the trip is both awful and ordinary, filled with the trivia, boredom, and petty rancors of daily life, from which the family cannot escape, even on vacation. Again the insistence on wealth and status appears in the context of death, which renders them meaningless. As she talks with him, he has his henchmen take the other members of the family to the woods and shoot them.




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