Setting Affects in "Good Country People"

Topics: Fiction, Southern United States, Short story Pages: 2 (594 words) Published: November 3, 2014
Southern Hospitality

“Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor is set in rural Georgia. The setting can affect what exists and doesn't exist in a story. Also the setting controls the environment in which a story or event takes place and it can include specific information about time and place. Location can change the story in significant ways and help the reader understand the characters and the development of the story. Stories take their flavor from the time period it occurs in and in this short story that is exactly what happens. Hulga and her mother have accepted a false view of reality and rely on a cliché that people who come from the country are all good folk. In “Good Country People” some of the ways the characters speak, interact, and behave derive from the setting. O’Connor had an unmatched ability to capture the cadences of country speech and the banalities of everyday conversation. Her depiction of Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman’s frequent kitchen conversations helps to underscore the role-playing and insincerity lurking behind the southern landscapes that served as the setting of this story. The way the characters speak, with a southern accent, and exchange ideas throughout the story clearly shows that they are from the south. For example, some of the characters say, “Chrustian”, “Intraduce”, “Sher”, “Nome”, “Acrost”, “Ast”, “Go ‘round”, “O’er”, “Don’tcher.” All of these southern words, or slang words, helps associate the character’s accent with the setting. In a conversation with Manley, Mrs. Hopewell exclaims, “Good country people are the salt of the earth! Besides, we all have different ways of doing, it takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round. That’s life! Why, I think there aren’t enough good country people in the world! I think that’s what’s wrong with it!”(Page 9). In these few sentences Mrs. Hopewell states that all country people are good; therefore, Manley must be a good person because he is from the country. Manley charmed Mrs....
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