In this short story, O'Connor tells the story of a family traveling to Florida on vacation and how they are maliciously murdered by the famous "misfit." Some important points to make about the story include the characters. Because three generations are represented in the story, I think O'Connor is showing readers the vast differences and declining over the years. The grandmother of the story remembers where she came from and what made her who she is today while her son is indifferent to it and her grandchildren are outright rude and mean to their very own grandmother. I think O'Connor is making the statement that younger generations have no sense of heritage or family. I think O'Connor is also saying that they have no sense of responsibility or manners. This is seen through the parents who do not seem to care at all about their children and never discipline them throughout the story. The children themselves also support this statement through their complete lack of manners they display to strangers (Red Sammy and his wife) as well as their very own grandmother (the beginning scene). O'Connor also makes broader statements about society and the south. For example, the one black boy the family comes across has no pants which suggests that people that live in the country, especially colored ones, are destitute and don't even have enough money for the bare essentials. Also, the interaction between the couple at the restaurant says a lot about what O'Connor sees in the south-gender roles, and people in general being stuck in the past. Red Sammy is very rude to his wife and through the way he talks to her clearly shows that he expects her to do all the work and not be too outspoken.
When the "Misfit" finally comes into the story, we learn about his character and what made him the person he is. The grandmother's naive view of people and the world is also clearly highlighted. The grandmother refuses to believe that there is no good in this man. She believes that because he looks nice and so therefore he must have a little religion and kindness and mercy in him. The "Misfit" however refuses to improve and believes that he is who he is and nothing or nobody is going to change him. Perhaps O'Connor is also making a statement about religion and Christianity-that they don't change anything for the better and that they can't really save you in the end?