The very best known short story attributed to Flannery O’ Connor, “An Excellent Male Is Hard to Discover” showed the author’s style and technique to imaginary art that frequently featured a blend of comedy and horror, the use of strange characters, and more notably a break for its characters e.g. the Misfit to repent and get God’s mercy and kindness.
This dreadful story is narrated in the point of view of the grandma who is the central character of the story. The grandma can be seen as self-interested and confoundedly pious in the course of the story. This can be manifested at the beginning on which the Bailey’s household is planning a trip and the granny selfishly insisted to go to Tennessee in spite of everybody else’s desire to go to Florida.
Throughout their journey through Georgia, the family had a stay and made an expressive discussion about the past. The grandmother again tries to encourage everyone to visit an old plantation she as soon as checked out.
On through their journey, an outrageous freak accident occurred that ultimately led to the household’s doom. The granny’s feline, which she brought without Bailey’s approval, jumped out into Bailey’s shoulder while driving.
His stunned and startled response caused him to loose control of the wheel that turned the car. To get away from the blame, the granny attempted to divert the conversation by grumbling about some body pains she struggled with the crash while the entire family goes out. Separated in the middle of the roadway, a car occurred from a range that boarded lawbreakers: Hiram, Bobby Lee, and the Misfit.
The Misfit is a serial killer on the loose who the grandma mentioned throughout the household vacation discussion to alert everyone of the hazards of going to Florida. The Misfit eliminated the entire family, first Bailey and his kid John, then Bailey’s other half and daughters, by taking them to the woods. During which, the granny seemed working out with the Misfit to conserve her life by attracting the Misfit’s conscience.
The granny applies reverse psychology in advocating her life by repetitively describing the Misfit as a “great male”, however to no obtain.
Unfortunately, when the grandma attempted to touch the Misfit and called him as “one of my children”, the Misfit returned a little and put three bullets into the grandmother’s chest without doubt. By the way, the granny may have called the Misfit as his boy, because the Misfit took the “parrot t-shirt” that her genuine child, Bailey was using prior to he was killed.
On the other hand, the Misfit being a paranoid cold blood killer might have reacted with a visceral defensive hostility with the touch of the granny.
As the story is told in the perspective of the granny, the story might have been prejudicial in such a method that depicts the grandmother herself as genuine, good and pure in her intents. For instance, she constantly dissuades the kids not to throw their trash out of the window. On the other hand, the story often depicts the children to be rude crudely insulting their grandmother, particularly for her selfish acts.
Bailey’s son, John Wesley frequently gives disparaging remarks about the household while June Star is frequently boorish and bad-mannered towards her grandmother. However, the actions of the granny seemed to recommend otherwise of her true genuine self. For instance, her smuggling of the cat on board might either be her alternative means of rebelling from the family’s suppressions or a symptom of her uncompromising recalcitrance.
Also om the climax of the story, the grandma’s effort in trying to reach out to the misfit while she faces her pending death, can be translated as her self-centered attempt to try to conserve herself from the awful fate that the rest of her family have currently suffered. Her final act of calling the Misfit as her boy can be a desperate effort to save her life from death.
On the other hand, the climax can be construed as the grandma’s final deed of becoming a genuine Christian, vis a vis her pretense of being one in the course of the story. In calling the Misfit as her own, the grandmother revealed the genuine essence of Christianity– that in the face of death and persecution (from the death of her family), she even provided the Misfit, her killer and persecutor, leniency and mercy and merely put their fate in the hands of God.
“The grandma, having set herself apart from “common” man, finds out now that The Misfit is among her “own,” that they are both children of Adam” (Dyson, p149). Additionally, the grandmother’s corpse was referred to as “like a kid and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky” (p23).