Example Of Good Country People Essay Essay
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The Good Country People is a short story by famous American essayist and writer of the 20th century Flannery O’Connor. With her stories, she provided an insight into the life of the southern America and depicted its peculiarities. Besides, she was an avid Roman catholic and raised religious issues in her essays. She often used the style of the southern Gothic. The style describes stories and novels about the South with a wide use of grotesque events, strange and eccentric characters and grim situations caused by different factors including poverty, violence and alienation. The Good Country People is not an exception. The short story refers to the episode, which took place in rural Georgia. In this work, Flannery O’Connor demonstrates the fate of an intellectual as well as reveals the searches of identity by the good country people living in rural areas.
The story takes place on a farm in the southern state. Mrs. Hopewell owns this farm and hires a tenant family of Mr. and Mrs. Freeman to help her. Mrs. Hopewell has a grown-up daughter Hulga, who previously was known as Joy, but changed her name because of teenage rebellion. Hulga has a wooden leg because she lost the real one in a hunting accident when she was a child. Besides, Hulga has a Ph.D. in philosophy. Mrs. Freeman and Mrs. Hopewell spend their mornings together sharing news and gossips of the area. Hulga ignores their meetings as much as she can. One day the silence of the place was destroyed by an appearance of a young bible salesman Manly Pointer. He is the one, who admits to be a good country people. Hulga wants to seduce him. In turn, Manly appears to a nihilistic atheist, tries to seduce Hulga and runs away with her wooden leg in his valise, having left a poor woman on the barn loft. The story ends when Manly’s leaving figure is observed by Mrs. Hopewell.
Helga is a representative of an intellectual in this story. She spent studying most of her life. Even now she is reading the books all the time. She managed to get a Ph.D. Hulga wanted to dedicate her life to the science and teaching but the heart problems made her to sit at home on the farm. She is surrounded by people with little or even no education. She has no company to talk about things that seem to be important to her. That is why she is so enthusiastic about the bible salesman. She takes her advantage to talk to him and wants to seduce because it seems naturally that she is much smarter than he is. However, it appears that despite all of the degrees, Hulga is blind to see the evil in people. She is cruelly deceived in the end.
This topic is closely related to another one, the inentity searching by the main characters. As for Mrs. Hopewell, people are divided in good country people and trash. Trash group is not even worth mentioning. Mrs. Hopewell of course is above all of these people. Helga shares the view of her mother regarding this issue. Yet, the identity of the good country people is destroyed by behavior of Manly Pointer. His name even warns the readers about his manly nature. He is not honest with others. He gets everything he needs by lying. Though he is evaluated as a good country people by Mrs. Hopewell, he is not good at all. This means that both Hulga and her mother were deceived by Manly. His is not the person, with whom he is identified. Moreover, this mistake will ruin the identity of Mrs. Hopewell and her daughter.
The short story Good Country People is full of irony and grotesque. Yet, it demonstrates the important philosophical conceptions and helps the reader to understand the complexity of the world. Besides, it warns him that no one is as he is look like. A person should always be careful with strangers.
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