Devil, Jesus, and God on a Dirt Road.
Due to Flannery O" Connor's deep religious roots she often includes many character references to the Bible and to Christianity. Through out her life O" Connor Remained a devote Catholic and never turned from her religion. (Lit. 672) Some of the characters are very clear while others are vaguer in their meaning. For example there are two distinct side or faces in this story; the grandmother represents the good or the Godliness of people while the Misfit is obviously the evil one or the devil of the story. However, at the same time, the Misfit can almost be referred to as a Christ symbol but at the same time is also puzzled by Jesus. (Whitt 46) O" Connor purposely places these religious characters in many of her works and in this one in particular in order to show the breakdown of social order and her lack of faith in humanity through making her characters, the misfit and the grandmother, into the biblical characters of the Devil, Jesus, and God.
The character of the Misfit is truly a puzzling one. This is a man who is a killer yet very polite in the way he talks. Clearly he represents the evil side in this story and someone who is the opposite of the grandmother. He is an escaped convict who has taken the family hostage and eventually executes them all in cold blood. While he is a murderer, he is very soft spoken and ironically very polite in the way he speaks to the grandmother. While it is easy to label the Misfit as evil, there are several instances in the text where he can be compared to as Jesus. It is strange and difficult to see a good side in the character of the Misfit and to see a hopeful future for this character. It is obvious that he has no conflict within himself when the members of the family are killed one at a time. When he shoots the grandmother in the chest, he simply wipes his glasses and carries on like it was a trivial event. However, it is as though he realizes that he is an evil person and realizes that he could have turned out better if certain events in his life never happened and if he was present for a specific event.