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In A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Misfit represents an instrumental evil character. He is a serial killers who kills his father and the entire family in the text. In this story, the grandmother tries to persuade Bailey who is her son to take his family and her to East Tennessee because she does not like to go to Florida. She explains that his children visited Florida before and The Misfit who escapes a prison moves to Florida based on a newspaper; therefore, Bailey decides to take his family and his mother to go to East Tennessee. Before the trip starts, the grandmother takes and hides her cat in a basket without telling anyone in her family. During their trip, they stop at a restaurant. The grandmother has a conversation with the owner and his wife. They are scared of The Misfit through the wife says he would steal them if he was here. The family continue their journey. They get an accidence because the cat which escapes from a basket startles Bailey. They have to stop and wait for someone to help them. Now, The Misfit and his two partners who carry guns come to the family.
The Misfit and the two guys seem to want to help the family to fix the car. The story portrays The Misfit talks polite to the grandmother and wants to help them. The Misfit is calm when the grandmother said he is The Misfit who is looked for by polices. Before the entire of family, the grandmother tries to talk to The Misfit to prevent him to kill her family. The Misfit shares that his mother is the finest in the world and his father’s hear is pure gold (O’Connor, 60). Also, he says he is different from his brothers and sisters. He is conscious that he is not a good man. However, he does not admit that he is the worst man and does not kill his father. He explains that father was dead due to epidemic flu and he gives exactly place where his father was buried is in the Mount Hopewell Baptist churchyard. Additionally, in his mind, he was a good boy and something he did wrong makes him become a bad person. The conversation between The Misfit and the grandmother indicates that The Misfit acknowledges good and bad. The grandmother tries to talk about Jesus to help him conscious bad and good. However, he does not care about it. In the world, the only thing which is meaningful to him is killing people and burn houses, even though he believes that God exists. The grandmother tries to talk about Jesus to help him conscious bad and good. However, he does not care about it. He orders the two men to kill the family. He shoots the grandmother without hesitant.
A Good Man is Hard to Find, the story does not describe the physical appearance of The Misfit; however, his thought and acts are evil. He was arrested due to killing his father. Later, he killed the entire family to make meaning to him. Many villains commit crimes because of their motivations, such as power, revenge or money. Conversely, there is no motivation for The Misfit. “There never was a body that give the undertaker a tip” The Misfit said to the grandmother, when the grandmother offers money to him. It indicates that he kills people not because of money. He feels good and happy, when he kills people and burns houses. Some people criticize that he is sociopath and mental health. Indeed, his hobbies illustrate how sociopath he is. Sociopath is used for a person having a personality disorder through their antisocial attitudes, behavior and no empathy (‘9 Ways to Spot a Sociopath,’ 2017). As he said “No pleasure but meanness” (63). Additionally, the way he wishes “if had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life” (64) to the grandmother. His wish demonstrates that he is completely lacked of conscience. He kills the grandmother without hesitance and although she was dead, he still wishes that to her life. Furthermore, people would agree that he is psychopathy. The sign of psychopathy is irresponsible behavior. He denies that he killed his father. He said to the grandmother that he was accused because a head doctor’s paper prove his murder. In fact, he does not need to explain to the grandmother about his case. However, he tries to convince that he is not totally bad. He likes killing people, but he did not kill his father. He always thinks epidemic flu caused his father’s death. So, his sociopath and psychopath expose the mental health through his thinking and violent acts.
In contrast, although The Misfit is a sociopath and psychopath through the analysis above, he is so polite to the grandmother. For an example, when the grandmother recognizes him, he replies to her with pleased. Moreover, he apologies the grandmother, as he does not wear a T-shirt. These examples shows he is not always violent, even though he likes murdering people. Furthermore, he mentions “I never was a bad boy that I remember”. In his mind, he thinks he was born as a good person, but there is something wrong to make him a bad person. Indeed, The Misfit also told the grandmother “But somewhere along the line I done something wrong and got sent to the penitentiary. I was buried alive”. He seems to complain about something he did wrong destroyed his life, which makes him a bad person. It is so preposterous, as he does not remember what he did. Based on these reasons above, we could say he is innocent. We could not judge people when they could not remember what they did and they are sociopath and psychopath. However, ‘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” (62) completely condemns that he is instrumental evil. Instrumental evil defines that someone can distinguish between bad and good. They know evil, but they still choose evil. His explanation shows that there is no guilty for murdering someone and is not scared of punishment. Punishment is nothing for him, so he says “I don’t want no hep” and “I’m doing all right by myself”. It means he is not innocent. He is totally conscious about bad and good. He will take punishment and he will move on to the next evil act. He will do things making meaningful to him. Indeed, he kills the entire family without guilty. His evil still shows strongly violence in his mind at the end of the story. The grandmother was dead, but he continues wishing someone here to shoot her every minute. Furthermore, the two partners of The Misfit are related to his evil. They enjoy in killing people. They said to The Misfit that it was fun when The Misfit wishes someone kills the grandmother every minutes. So, we could say that The Misfit chooses his life to become an instrumental evil.
To sum up, it is really hard to make a decision that The Misfit in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a villain because the analysis above also shows there are sociopath and psychopath in his mind. When a character also has a symptom of mental health, many people cannot conclude that the character is really villainous through their violent which shows evil for audiences. The Misfit is an interesting character to analyze a villain. In fact, he does not admit that he killed his father. He always thinks his parents are great and good people. Also, he is a serial killer, but he does not show how rude he is with the grandmother. He totally politely talk to the grandmother. He calls her a lady. However, the story tells us that he is a villain through his conscience. Money, power and revenge are not motivation for him. Evil makes meaningful to him. He accepts punishment, but he does not learn from it to get out of evil. He just forgets his violence and continue doing evil. In my opinion, I could understand there is some sociopath and psychopath in his mind, but The Misfit can still awake to admit how evil he did. Therefore, I consider that he is an instrumental evil through his evil act and thinking.
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