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A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

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  • July 9, 2006
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In the short stories "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" the antagonists are The Misfit and Arnold Friend respectively. Both are mentally unstable and murderers, but that is where the similarities end. The protagonists of the stories are Grandma and Connie respectively. Both seem to be dissimilar at first but as the stories progress more similarities than differences become apparent to the reader.

In "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is The Misfit is uneducated and was raised in the backwoods. He got into a lot of mischief when he was young as indicated by his father's comments. On page 439 paragraph 100 his father said he was a "different breed of dog from the others". You get the idea The Misfit is mentally unstable when he said in paragraph 111, ". . . along the way I did something wrong and they sent me to the penitentiary. I was buried alive." He seemingly ignores Grandma's question as to why he was sent to prison and continues to describe the way he felt in his cell. He then answers Grandma's question and says the psychologist told him he killed his father. He denied that fact because he said is father died of the flu epidemic in "nineteen ought nineteen". Another indicator of his mental instability in the story is when he talks about Jesus raising the dead and "thown" everything off balance. He was also angry because he was not present when the dead were raised.

The Misfit didn't really seem to enjoy killing like other psychopaths. Instead of killing all family members in plain sight he had Hiram and Bobby Lee take them into the woods and out of sight to kill them. They killed quickly without making them physically suffer. The Misfit did kill Grandma after she reached out to touch him but when Bobby Lee indicated it would be "some fun" to shoot Grandma everyday The Misfit told him in the last line to shut up and then said, "It's no real pleasure in life". He killed because he was "a different breed...