Good Country People

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Good Country People

Flannery O'Connor's “Good Country People,” is written in third person while using the omniscient narrator to focus on different character's consciousness throughout the story. Therefore, the reader knows what some of the characters are thinking about; so he/she is able to see the irony involved in the story. O’Connor’s use of symbolism in the choice of name is almost of being ironic, and humorous; furthermore much of the irony is implied in the title of the story, “Good Country People.” Hulga the protagonist of the story is a presumptuous and self-centered character, who has transformed herself to live a life of believing in nothing. However, by the end of the story, Hulga is met with situations that will ultimately change how she views herself and the world. O’ Connor’s use of name seem to give indications about the personalities of the character, rather than simply being a random name. Hulga, the daughter of Mrs. Hopewell, is named Joy when she is born; Joy loses one of her legs in a hunting accident at the age of ten, and suffers from a heart disease. Hulga’s wooden leg has come to symbolize her, and what she thinks of the world. The leg is an ugly, bulky, horrible thing, much like how Hulga feels about herself. When Joy-Hulga lost her leg, her life took on a new direction, changing from the happy Joy to the ugly and mean Hulga. Due to all the hardships she’s going through, at thirty-two she still lives with her mother, and is very negative about life. The highly educated Hulga feels superior to those around her due to their lack of education and complexity. Hulga has no control over the negative emotions she feels, and allows these events to shape the remainder of her life. Although, Hulga is characterized as brilliant and intellectual, but she is naïve to the feelings and motivations of others. Ironically, Hulga has a Ph.D. in philosophy, yet she has a very narrow view of her world and no insight into other people’s true character...
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