Good Country People

Topics: Short story, Flannery O'Connor, Prosthesis Pages: 2 (870 words) Published: May 10, 2008
GOOD COUNTRY PEOPLE by Flannery O'Connor

The short story Good Country People was written by O’Connor. The story introduces us to well-educated a woman who was thirty-two years old. This woman has an artificial leg which was shot off in a hunting accident when she was ten. She went to college and earned a doctorate in philosophy. She has a heart condition; so she cannot work and has to live at home with her mother. The name given to her is Joy but she changed her name to Hulga. She mocks her mother who treats her like child even though she is past her childhood years. Joy has changed her name to Hulga, which is a symbol of the control she has for her own life and the ugly lack of meaning she sees in the world around her. Hulga is an atheist who refuses to allow her mother to keep a Bible in the family parlor. She has no problems with treating others poorly she claims “We are not our own light!" (184). Form this quote Hulga shows she is Nihilist therefore we know nothing and can’t know anything. In one of her books, she has underlined in blue pencil ". The approach to nothing. This is Hulgas’ belief that we can not know anything which is another Nihilist quote. When Manley Pointer enters the story he is wearing a blue suit. His blue suit is a major factor of symbolism in this story. This blue suit he is wearing we originally thought represented the goodness of Manley. Mrs. Hopewell let him into the house stating that he is a good country people. Mrs. Hopewell claims he is a simple man who loves the lord and he says he is selling bibles so he can become a missionary. Manley tells a story about his heart condition to try and gain sympathy and hopefully a sale. As the story progresses we find that the blue represents something else entirely that we can know nothing. Later on Manley ask Joy-Hulga to go on a picnic with her she says she will so the next day they go to a secluded area away from civilization. They come to this old barn and Manley ask her to go inside...
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