Sunday, October 23, 2011

A good man is hard to find.

The Grandmother was hoping to go to East Tennessee, not Florida and she wanted to change her only son, Bailey, mind.  She tries to scare him by showing him an article about the recent breakout of a criminal called “The Misfit” implying that he is heading towards Florida.  She says that she would never take her kids near a state that has a madman heading towards it.  Bailey just ignored her and kept reading his paper.  She then tries to appeal to the mother, saying that the kids were to Florida before, but not East Tennessee.  Her motives to wanting to go to East Tennessee didn’t lie with the happiness of the family, but that she had friends up there.  Bailey’s son, John Wesley asked why don’t she just stay home if she doesn’t want to go, with his sister saying, She has to go everywhere we go.  Next morning, Grandmother was the first one in the car with the Cat hidden a valise.  She didn’t want to leave the cat alone, afraid that it might kill itself.  She dressed fancy for the trip, because if she had died in a crash, at least the passersby will be able to identify her as a lady.  Like some mothers, she constantly gave advice to her son while driving, about patrolmen and other things. John wanted to drive through Georgia fast so that they won’t have to look at much.  The grandmother tasks about respect for their home state and parents, then points out a pickaninny standing in the door of a shack.  She tells them a story about a little nigger boy who ate a watermelon under a misunderstanding.  They stopped at a place to eat and the children misbehaved.  The grandmother talked to the owner of the dinner about the way things are and how they used to be.  She blames Europe.   After leaving, the grandmother wanted to visit an old house, but Bailey didn’t want to, so she got the children to get on her side and eventually he gave in.  They went down a dirt road and had a accident.  Everyone turned out to be ok.  Soon they waited in a ditch for help, when a car pulled up.  Three men got out of the car with guns, one of them shirtless with a black hat.  The grandmother identifies him as The Misfit out loud.  He said she wish she had not done that.  Slowly one by one the family was taken out ot the woods to be shoot until the grandmother was left.  She keeps trying to save her own life, until she mistakes the Misfit for her son (because he is now wearing his shirt).  She reaches up to touch his face and he recoils and shoots her in the chest

     Ok, so I will admit I didn’t see the story ending that way.  If this story was dated sometime after 1970s, then as soon as they mentioned The Misfit, I would have expected him to show up at some time.  Instead I just expected the grandmother to get her comeuppance or the family learning some sort of lesson.  Since it was written in 1955 I was expecting something like Leave it to Beaver.  I guess it is because the experience I have from the 1950s is about the Civil rights Movement or it’s television programs.  I wasn’t expecting the whole family to get killed one by one.  But this story brings up several subversions about respecting your elders and Christianity.  Just because one get older, does not mean that the get wiser.  It is a problem in churches, especially southern churches that has the ideal that just because someone has been in the church for a long time it means that they know better or should be given more respect because of it.  The grandmother expects respect because of who she is, but she doesn’t give respect to the wishes of her child, manipulating her Grandchildren into what will indirectly lead to their deaths.  If she just went along with her son’s wishes, they would be alive.  On the other hand she couldn’t have known that they would have meet The Misfit, but when they did she had the choice not to identify him, but she did.  If she respected her son’s wishes and left the cat at home like a smart person, then the crash wouldn’t have happened.  I’m also interested in a point that The Misfit brings up.  He was made that he wasn’t there when Jesus raised Lazurus from the dead.  He wanted proof that Jesus did this and was mad at Jesus for not leaving proof of his existence.  While I can understand his anger about the ambiguity of Christianity because of this (He refuses to see a man that he dosen’t know if he exists as his savior)  If there was facts that Jesus did what he did, then Christianity wound run on faith and it would be a spiritual belief.  Oh and I also like that this was written by a Christian too, who decided to explore certain aspects about her belief 

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