SP Premium
Walking Guide
Group photo
Author:
POPSY190's Photo POPSY190 Posts: 5,268
12/29/14 10:05 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I once read a fictional newspaper article (I think it was Canadian) about this strange character who had appeared in a town. It was written as if it were a contemporary account but at the end the author revealed that Jesus Christ was the character - then asked the question of how we would treat him if he really did appear on earth. Perhaps The Misfit name could be seen to refer to this tendency of us to fear and hate someone perceived as an outsider? I half wonder about Satan as well - fallen angel etc.although I doubt this was in the author's mind. Have you read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy? It raises issues along these lines.

Penny, Christchurch, New Zealand

Co-captain Panthers BLC24-28

www.blcpanth
ers.com


Genealogists live in the past lane.
The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better.


 current weight: 178.0 
178
168.75
159.5
150.25
141
GUBBINAL's Photo GUBBINAL Posts: 224
12/29/14 6:38 P

Send Private Message
Reply
Thank you for your comments, Penny. They are quite enlightening. Flannery O'Connor was indeed a devout Roman Catholic and I think that some of her stories may indicate that she thought the very "low church" or "evangelical" churches were low. But that is just my guess. I, too, am an atheist.

I know in some of her other stories the religious characters are also the grotesques.

Clara
Connecticut
POPSY190's Photo POPSY190 Posts: 5,268
12/28/14 11:34 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
None of the people in this story really fits with anyone else! Each of the people in the car seems to lack empathy with the others Even in extremity June Star calls one of her captors a Pig whom she doesn't want to touch. It's only when The Misfit looks to her like "one of my babies" that she sees another person with his own history and feelings rather than someone to be used for her own ends. Is this her moment of grace? Or has she finally lost her mind to terror?

I think religious belief permeates this story. I'm an atheist so to some degree I find I was detached from some of the ideas raised. When I saw the child named "John Wesley" I wondered whether or not it was significant, given this was the name of a founder of Methodism, and June Star then made me think about Star of Bethlehem. As I gather that the author is a Roman Catholic I wondered a bit whether there might be a comment on those who do not follow the "true faith" and its rituals. The "trueness" of Christ is definitely something The Misfit has pondered as that seems to puzzle him as much as his own life does. What ever "sin" he has committed he seems to have mixed it up with his doubts about Jesus and God. He is obviously extremely disturbed and has shut out the details of his crime. I thought it was possible that it was a step-father he had killed as he was so specific about his father's death in 1919. Or had he killed a priest, one of the fathers of his church?

I'm not sure about Red Sammy and wife, except that he is presented as a better human being than most of the others. Is it a coincidence that he lives just outside Timothy. Is this supposed to remind us of Paul's companion Timothy who truly believed and so honoured God? The story about allowing men to charge up petrol might be intended to show that unconsciously he treats his neighbours as he would be treated. He lacks the courtesies of polite society but has all the right instincts.
I'm not sure about the significance of calling the place "The Tower". I know about the Tower of Babel, and my English upbringing familiarised me with the phrase "a tower of strength" but that is from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and I doubt that is the reference. Perhaps it is a tower to modern values - fast food, commercialism, cynicism - the wife.

I wouldn't trust any of them. Even Red Sammy will try to appease his wife. It's interesting that the cat appears to be the only survivor of the incident (is it alive when The Misfit picks it up?).

Penny, Christchurch, New Zealand

Co-captain Panthers BLC24-28

www.blcpanth
ers.com


Genealogists live in the past lane.
The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better.


 current weight: 178.0 
178
168.75
159.5
150.25
141
GUBBINAL's Photo GUBBINAL Posts: 224
12/28/14 8:06 P

Send Private Message
Reply
I don't find any of the characters sympathetic which is ok; I think that the Misfit has a strange exchange with the grandmother at the end. I don't know which of them is more shell-shocked.
Is the Grandmother a misfit? Notice that she engineers so many of the misadventures of the day. Is the Misfit a "grandmother" figure--controlling?

Did the grandmother have a "moment of grace?" Is it possible to read the story without thinking about religion? Does the grandmother have real religious faith? (I think only when it suits her)?

Do you think that the Misfit killed his father? I do not know myself. He praises his father; he says he cannot remember how he got into jail; he compares himself to Jesus. I personally think that the misfit is a sociopath but perhaps so too is the grandmother within a domestic realm?

What do you think of Red Sammy and his wife? The "Tower" must be symbolic; Red Sammy seems to like the grandmother and she calls him a "good man" after he has said that "A good man is hard to find". He owns a monkey; she owns a cat. Red Sammy's wife does not trust anyone, including Red Sammy.

Who do we trust aside from the cat?



Clara
Connecticut
JET150's Photo JET150 Posts: 9,425
12/22/14 5:53 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Go ahead and discuss any and all aspects of the story, in my opinion. I'll catch up to you....

Jeanette
Madison, Wisconsin


 Pounds lost: 5.0 
0
6.75
13.5
20.25
27
POPSY190's Photo POPSY190 Posts: 5,268
12/22/14 2:35 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
That's the same for me! I didn't know when to discuss in case I spoiled it for others! I've heard the term American Gothic a lot so I'm interested to hear this story described in that way. Perhaps closer to Monk Lewis than Mrs Radcliffe! The author has a good eye and ear for telling details of character - I've frequently seen those children in our local library and cafes! It's pertinent at Christmas when commercialism dominates to ask what made them that way? I also thought about modern child rearing theory which frowns on any type of child restraint. They are truly repulsive!
Despite being called only The Misfit, and therefore nameless in the conventional sense, the escaped prisoner engaged my sympathy far more than the others. Yet he was a violent and ruthless man, without mercy. I'm still working out why.......perhaps because he had some insight into the realities of his position.....

Edited by: POPSY190 at: 12/22/2014 (14:37)
Penny, Christchurch, New Zealand

Co-captain Panthers BLC24-28

www.blcpanth
ers.com


Genealogists live in the past lane.
The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better.


 current weight: 178.0 
178
168.75
159.5
150.25
141
GUBBINAL's Photo GUBBINAL Posts: 224
12/21/14 1:09 P

Send Private Message
Reply
I really liked this story and I think it must be a really good example of the "Southern Gothic" where we see comic and tragic blended together. Like the Nabokov story, this one is filled with little details. It's very dramatic. I don't know if I should mention the ending or wait for others to have time to read the story.

Clara
Connecticut
GUBBINAL's Photo GUBBINAL Posts: 224
12/20/14 7:01 P

Send Private Message
Reply
What a dysfunctional family. The grandmother is ultra-controlling and deceptive. The children are truly brats. The mother does not have a name and is described as looking like a cabbage.

Clara
Connecticut
GUBBINAL's Photo GUBBINAL Posts: 224
12/20/14 2:49 P

Send Private Message
Reply
docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzbtl
cAsIeTneX
d3QzJVSE4wbzg/edit


Edited by: GUBBINAL at: 12/20/2014 (17:43)
Clara
Connecticut
Page: 1 of (1)  

Report Innappropriate Post

Other Spark People Eclectic Readers Various Books Posts

Topics:
Last Post:



Thread URL: https://wfl.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=25235x58993x60076013

Review our Community Guidelines