The Misfit Essay

1297 words - 5 pages

The Misfit is a complex character created by Flannery O’Connor. He is talked about first when the Grandmother reads his criminal background at the breakfast table. Right when the Misfit meets the family the Grandmother starts questioning his faith and past, and through the Grandmother’s persistent behavior that you find out the truth behind the Misfits hard exterior. The reader understands that the Misfit was brought up by parents who were the “finest people in the world” (O’Connor 1312). With this type of background, how can one expect the Misfit to be such a cold blooded killer? Because of his kind nature in the beginning of the story, it’s almost impossible to understand how he could just kill. Through deeper analysis one can characterize the Misfit with a heart of gold, but the mind of a villain. This characterization is true because somewhere along the line he was wrongly accused of murdering his father and was brutally punished and he was mistreated by the justice system. The Misfit knows he was innocent and neither Jesus nor the justice system could rid him of the punish he received. It’s not because he is an evil person, he says himself “I never was a bad boy that I remember of… but somewhere along the line I done something wrong and got sent to the penitentiary. I was buried alive” (1314). The Misfit states he was never the worst person, but he also says himself that he was never good either, so the reason behind the Misfit’s homicidal condition is not because he is an evil person but due to his distrust in Jesus Christ and the justice system.
The Misfit’s distrust in Jesus is seen everywhere. The Misfit does not trust Jesus because he never a bad boy so he can’t understand how a once good man could get punished so harshly. From the beginning it is obvious the Misfit has no trust or belief in Jesus Christ because he is always saying how He can’t help him. The Misfit states that “if I had been there [and seen Jesus raise from the dead] I would of known and I wouldn’t be like I am now” (O’Connor 1316). This means that if the Misfit knew the truth about Jesus Christ he would not be a killer and maybe he’d have some faith. This truth agrees with Martha Stephens’s when she says that “everything the Misfit has done, everything he so monstrously does here, proceeds from his inability to accept Christ, to truly believe” (Stephens 1320). This does not encompass the fact that although the Misfit just does not trust the work of Jesus Christ, the Misfit can never change because of lack of knowledge about what Jesus has done. In order for the Misfit to change he has to know that the works of Jesus Christ are true, the Misfit can never just “believe”. To the Misfit believing would mean knowing, and knowing would mean to witness all of what Jesus Christ has done.
When the Misfit is asked what event started his homicidal rage, the Misfit states “I forgot what I done. I set there and set there, trying to remember what it was...

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