This short story written by Flannery O’Connor features a grandmother who wants to take her son for a vacation. The old woman insists on not going to Florida as she was anticipating that something bad would happen. She insisted to her son Bailey that she would rather go for a trip to Tennessee but he ignored. She therefore woke up very early and dressed in her best clothes saying that if she was to die that day then she would be recognized as a lady. On their way they had an accident as the grandmother pretends that she had been hurt to gain sympathy from the family members.
The grandmother had earlier heard of a killer by the name of Misfit who was in a mission of killing people around Florida and so her dressing symbolized that she was ready for the coffin. The children in the car seemed so funny but too spoilt. This example tries to show how the young generation has turned out to be so disrespectful to their elders. Foreshadow image is reflected where the group passed a six graves which had been fences in a way that the grandmother commented that it looked like an island since the graves were in the center of a cotton plantation ( Flannery 119).
This incident was also symbolic as the number of people travelling in that car was six including the baby. This conversation shows other foreshadowing images where the grandmother laments that the graveyard was of an old family as she pointed outside at the grave. When Wesley looks out to see the grave the grandmother laughs saying that it has gone with the wind. Referring to this we can conclude by how the souls of the family go with the wind at the end of the story.
Irony is also reflected in the story where the grandmother shows how selfish she is and manipulative. She wanted to show Misfit that she is respected by pretending to be honest though we find that the society’s misfit is polite shows respect to all. This is where Misfit does not lie about who he is and how he feels about Christianity. According to Bandy (117-107) irony is also seen where the children are rude and their family offers much care but we see another child from a poor family who is so polite and even waves to Bailey’s children. It is ironical where Misfit is offered assistance by the grandmother but later at the end of the story we find him killing her (Desmon 130).
The writer also shows comic where she says that the place where the family died was known as Toombsboro which can be translated into another accent as Tombs bury. Imagery is reflected when the grandmother asks Misfit what he had done for him to be taken to the prison. Flannery (130) shows that the man answers by saying that he was looking all over the surrounding but all he could see was walls and this description though it fits a prison room can also be a foreshadow of what the grandmother will be seeing in the grave once the man kills her. The other foreshadowing incident is seen where Misfit asks the grandmother if it will be fair if one person is punished and the others not punished (Kathleen 117- 113).
Misfit was been regarded as a good man who represented the judge of Christ. He was to judge the whole family of their deeds in life especially the grandmother. This is reflected in the incidence where the grandmother act as Misfit’s redeemer and both of them are in trial. We find that the grandmother was a sinful woman and a hypocrite. It seems that her sins were unforgivable and this is why we find her killed by Misfit at the end of the story. The children were also judged as very spoilt, their mother as ignorant of children’s acts and their father was gloomy. The family seems to ignore the old woman and this result to her acts of being manipulative.
This conversation comes to pass as only the grandmother is killed in the incident due to her hypocrisy, being some kind of self centered and for lying to Misfit. 131. The grandmother also asks Misfit if he knew the importance of a prayer this shows how a Christians behave once they relies that they are about to die they tend to involve themselves with the priests. Misfit also says that just like Jesus was accused of committing a crime he had also not been harmful as the judges had no prove. In conclusion, the writer of this book has tried to use more imagery of various kinds for example the dress that the grandmother had wore, the graveyard, the dialogue between the grand mother and Misfit also reflects some curiosity on what was to happen at the end. The end of the story is so surprising due to the use of strong and unclear images.
Bandy, Stephen. One of my Babies: The Misfit and the Grandmother, Studies in short fiction, 1996. 107-117.