Good Country Irony-Good Countr

Topics: Bible, Irony, Paradox Pages: 3 (915 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor is an excellent example of irony in literature. From beginning to end it has a steady procession of irony, much of it based on the title of the story: “Good Country People.” In the beginning of the story we meet Mrs. Freeman, wife of the hired hand. She and her husband have been working for Mrs. Hopewell for four years. “The reason for her keeping them so long was that they were not trash. They were ‘Good Country People,’” according to Mrs. Hopewell. Ironically one of the first things we learn about Mrs. Freeman is that her previous employer has called her “the nosiest woman ever to walk the earth.” Then, as the story progresses, we learn she has “a special fondness for the details of secret infections, hidden deformities, assaults upon children”. It seems that for a “good country person” she has a perverse curiosity in the macabre. She particularly enjoys hearing all the details of how Joy/Hulga had her leg literally blasted off in a hunting accident. As the story moves on we can see the conflict between Mrs. Hopewell and her daughter Joy/Hulga. Joy/Hulga treats her mother with disdain, and does everything she can to emphasize her own individuality. She professes to believe in nothing. She is a proud intellectual and has little doubt of her belief in “nothingness.” However, ironically in the end she is proven to be very much like her mother in that she falls prey to the same naïve stereotypes as her mother. She believes Manley Pointer to be “Good Country People,” and is shocked to find out that he is not the good Christian bible salesman she thought him to be. As we first meet Manley Pointer he is trying to sell Mrs. Hopewell a Bible. When she is not interested, he apologizes and plays on her sympathy by saying, “I’m just a country boy….People like you don’t like to fool with country...
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