Good Country People, a Review and Analysis Essay
559 Words3 Pages
Everyone wants to believe that they are beautiful. For this reason, we tend to seek out that approval from others including our parents, friends, and other loved ones. Flannery O'Connor's story, "Good Country People," focuses on this particular theme. In her narrative, a young girl named Joy Hopewell longs for her mother's approval. When she does not find it, Joy begins to believe that she is unworthy of anyone's admiration. This basic premise allows for Manley Pointer to easily win Joy's trust. Flannery O'Connor includes this string of events in order to show the significant role parents play in developing their children's self-esteem, as well as reveal that even though Joy Hopewell begins to believe that she is not beautiful, she…show more content…
For instance, Joy legally changes her name to Hulga. She changes her name from Joy because she does not see herself as beautiful as such a name implies. In fact, the narrator says, "she had thought and thought until she had hit upon the ugliest name in any language" (132). Furthermore, Hulga never wears dresses or anything nice. Instead, she chooses to wear a "six year old skirt and a yellow sweat shirt with a faded cowboy on a horse embossed on it" (133). Hulga does not believe that any amount of makeup or nice clothes can improve upon her ugliness. This low confidence directly derives from her mother's dissatisfaction with her.
Because of her poor self-image, Hulga Hopewell melts as soon as she sees that the Bible salesman thinks that she is beautiful. He looks at her in a way that no one else ever has before. Manley Pointer not only smiles at her, but gazes at her in admiration and tenderness. The mere idea that this Bible salesman would be drawn to her leaves Hulga in complete astonishment and wonder. The narrator describes Hulga's fascination with the boy's fondness by saying, "It was like surrendering to him completely. It was like losing her own life and finding it again, miraculously, in his" (141). No one, including her mother, had ever seen Hulga as beautiful. For this reason, Manley easily wins her trust, and ultimately, tricks her. Hulga's immediate surrender to Manley
Essay on Good Country People by Flannery O'connor
1636 Words7 Pages
Flannery O’Connor was born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia. She was an American writer. O’Connor wrote two novels and 32 short stories in her life time. She was a southern writer who wrote in Southern Gothic style. In the Article, Female Gothic Fiction Carolyn E. Megan asks Dorothy Allison what Southern Gothic is to her and she responded with, “It’s a lyrical tradition. Language. Iconoclastic, outrageous as hell, leveled with humor. Yankees do it, but Southerners do it more. It’s the grotesque.”(Bailey 1) Later she was asked who one of her role models was and she stated that Flannery O’Connor was one she could relate to. One of O’Connor’s stronger works was “Good Country People” which was published in 1955.
“Good Country People”…show more content…
Even with all the annoyances from Mrs. Freeman, Mrs. Hopewell is willing to endure it because they were good country people to her. Hulga was a very quiet and troubled woman. Oliver Kate explains that, “Joy-Hulga's physical afflictions--her heart condition, her poor eyesight, and her artificial leg--symbolize her emotional, intellectual, and spiritual impairments.”(Kate 234) Due to Hulgas medical problems she could not enjoy many things in life, like teaching philosophy and interacting with others outside the house. She was very detached from other people. Hulga had to be like this to protect herself. The world can be a very cruel place, where they could of judged her because of her fake leg, glasses and heart issues. She was afraid and hand no trust for others outside of her house.
Hulga did not care about anyone else but herself. She lived in self-pity. There are many disabled kids, adults and veterans in the world. There are professional runners and people without limbs that work and do amazing things. Even though she had these issues she thought she was better and too good for everyone else. Mrs. Hopewell states that Hulga, “was brilliant but she didn’t have a grain of sense.”(O’Connor 558) Hulga even