The Misfit Quotes in A Good Man is Hard to Find
The car continued to come on slowly, disappeared around a bend and appeared again, moving even slower, on the top of the hill they had gone over. It was a big black battered hearse-like automobile.
His face was as familiar to her as if she had known him all her life but she could not recall who he was.
“I know you’re a good man. You don’t look a bit like you have common blood. I know you must come from nice people!”
“Nome, I ain’t a good man,” The Misfit said after a second as if he had considered her statement carefully, “but I ain’t the worst in the world neither. My daddy said I was a different breed from my brothers and sisters. ‘You know,’ Daddy said, ‘it’s some that can live their whole life out without asking about it and it’s other has to know why it is, and this boy is one of the latters. He’s going to be into everything!’”
“I was a gospel singer for a while,” The Misfit said. “I been most everything. Been in the arm service, both land and sea, at home and abroad, been twict married, been an undertaker, been with the railroads, plowed Mother Earth, been in a tornado, seen a man burnt alive oncet . . . I even seen a woman flogged.”
“I never was a bad boy that I remember of,” The Misfit said in an almost dreamy voice, “but somewhere along the line I done something wrong and got sent to the penitentiary. I was buried alive.”
“It was a head-doctor at the penitentiary said what I had done was kill my daddy but I known that for a lie. My daddy died in nineteen ought nineteen of the epidemic flu and I never had a thing to do with it.”
“Well then, why don’t you pray?” she asked trembling with delight suddenly.
“I don’t want no hep,” he said. “I’m doing all right by myself.
“I call myself The Misfit,” he said, “because I can’t make what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment.”
“Then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can—by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness.”
She saw the man’s face twisted closer to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!” She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. The Misfit sprang back as if a snake had bitten him and shot her three times through the chest.
“She would have been a good woman,” The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”