Flannery O'Connor's Use of Irony
Irony is used in stories to show that there is a difference in reality and the way things appear to be either in terms of meaning, action, or situation. In two of Flannery O'Conner's short stories entitled "Good Country People," and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," she uses the technique of irony to help her create various different degrees of abnormal characters and situations. These seemingly intellectual people act abnormally in order to satisfy their own selfish desires; likewise, the seemingly normal situations are misleading in the way that they appear to be average but result in deviant chaos. There are many different examples of these awry characters and circumstances in these short stories. There are also examples of the different types of irony that Flannery O'Connor uses, such as verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony. Verbal irony occurs when the character's words have an underlying meaning that is the opposite of what he or she really said. Much of the irony in "Good Country People," is in the title. Mrs. Hopewell hires the Freemans because they are "good country people"; however, we learn that Mrs. Freeman has to have her nose in everyone's business. We also learn that she has "a special fondness for the details of secret infections, hidden deformities, assaults upon children," of which she "preferred the lingering or incurable (O'Connor)." It seems that she has a very perverse nature to be considered a "good...
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