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Good Country People
Transcript of Good Country People
Written by Flannery O'Connor
Published in 1955 in
A Good Man is Hard to Find
About the Author
Born in 1925
Wrote two novels and 32 short stories
Lost her father to Lupus disease
Mostly wrote in the Southern Gothic genre
Wrote about Catholicism, morality and grace
Passed of lupus at 39
Mrs. Hopewell runs the family farm with Mrs. Freeman. Her daughter, Joy lives with her; she is in her 30s and has a PhD in Philosophy. Joy, who later changes her name to Hulga, has a wooden leg. Manley Pointer, a bible salesman, attempts to sell Mrs. Hopewell a bible and gets invited to dinner. As the story goes on Joy's interest in Manley grows and she finds herself in a troublesome situation when Manley takes her wooden leg from her and she is left helpless. Mrs. Hopewell believes Manley Pointer is "good country people."
Mrs. Hopewell and Joy believe that Manley Pointer is a good man however they are unable to see through to his true identity.
Joy changing her name to Hulga shows her struggle to find her true identity. She is unlike her mother in that she is an athiest and she is constantly struggling to find what she actually does believe in.
"Mrs. Hopewell" is ironic because she is constantly trying to see the best in people
"Mrs. Freeman" is ironic because she is not necessarily "free" since she works for the Hopewells
"Hulga" is what Joy changes her name to. This name is an "ugly" name and it is suitable for her because she never tries to look nice or presentable.
"Manley Pointer" is a name that is masculine and something you are unable to forget. Portraying his character as well.
Exposition: Narrator describes the family and establishes characteristics
Rising Action: Manley Pointer comes to the house in efforts to sell the family Bibles and is invited for dinner.
Climax: Manley Pointer develops an "interest" for Joy and begins to make her trust him.
Falling Action: Manley Pointer gets Joy alone and takes advantage of her trust and steals her prosthetic leg, leaving her helpless.
Denounment: Manley Pointer gets away with stealing in another town, Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman still believe he is "good country people."
The title "Good Country People" is a symbol of O'Connor's irony. The characters in the story are not at all "good country people." A mother that does not accept her daughter the way she is, a con artist is selling bibles, a woman who rejects any form of religion, and refuses to trust men therefore not marrying.