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Good country People

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Transcript of Good country People

Flannery O'Connor
Literary work
Mary Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia
She was the only child of a Caholic family
Her texts usually take place in the South.
She relied on regional settings and grotesque characters.
O'Connor's writing reflected her own Roman Catholic faith.
She examined questions of morality and ethics throughout her literary work.
Southern Gothic Literature
The issue of race often appears in the background of her stories.
One of her trademarks is foreshadowing.
She wrote ironic, subtly allegorical fiction about deceptively backward Southern characters, usually fundamentalist Protestants, who undergo transformations of character that to O'Connor's thinking brought them closer to the Catholic mind.
She had a deeply sardonic sense of humor.
Her two novels were Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960).
She published two books of short stories: A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (published posthumously in 1965).
Life of Flannery
People with a nihilistic philosophy of life will inevitably decay.
Grotesque references
Hulga is destroyed when she is brought face-to-face with the evil personification of her worldview, Manley.
Change of the name by Hulga:
Meaning of the characters' names
Meaning of the wooden leg
Avoid the stereotypical archetypes of antebellum Southern literature.

Focuses on strange events,
eccentric characters, and local

The grotesque.
* "Physical grotesques"
*"Secular grotesques"
Act of rebellion against her mother
Change of beliefs
"Her major triumph"
The artificial leg as the soul of Hulga. (She took care of it (her leg) as someone else would his soul... pg 259)
Simbol of the wounded state of her soul. She is spiritually maimed, emotionally crippled, inflexibly rigid, and lacking in the rich and full vitality from her creator.
"Good Country People"
"The salt of the earth"
Mrs. Freeman's commentarie at the end of the story
Hulga as a different character
Because of her beliefs that mark her as different of the other characters
Number of degrees.
Hulga and Manley as the same character
Hulga as a self-fashioned nihilistic and Manley as the essence of nihilism itself
God-given potential for freedom and flexibility.

Pride, arrogance and self-centeredness.

Treatment of others only as physical bodies.

Emphasis in the comic aspects of the body.
The philosophical thrust of this story, and her literature in general, is a refutation of the modern tendency to push beyond the boundaries of good an evil. O'Connor's hope was that her literature might be a mirror and a guide for society.
She was accepted into the lowa writer's workshop at the University of lowa.
She was a Southern writer, who frequently examined questions of morality and ethics.
She was devastated by the death of her father who was diagnosed with the disease systemic lupus erythematosus.
Unfoutunately in 1951 she was diagnosed with systemic lupus eythematosus.
She never married and she always had a close relationship whit her mother, Regina Cliner O'connor
How can we evidence Nihilism in the story?
Through the symbolism, grotesque and irony O’Connor illustrates Nihilism and its consequences.
Humans who cut themselves off from God are at least as crippled as Hulga.

Nihilism consume "naïve people" enough to think they can embrace and contain it. Nihilism is not an acceptable way of life. This kind of philosophy destroys those whom it touches just as Manley destroys Hulga.

Author’s intention
"The condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race
Price for our liberation
Evil is defined by St. Thomas as a privation of form, order or measure
It is opposed to evil.
The state of being damned by reason of one's own deliberate estrangement from God
Seven deadly sins
Hulga Hopewell and Manley Pointer undergo a spiritual and physical death because of their sinful actions and beliefs in O'Connor's short story "good country people."
Why they undergo a spiritual dead?
They undergo a spiritual death because they reject God’s grace and redemption
Because of that they undergo evil’s fruit in their life
When they reject grace and redemption they were damned.
Historical Background
Southern literature following the Second World War grew thematically as it embraced the social and cultural changes in the South resulting from the American Civil Rights Movement.
In addition, more female and African American writers began to be accepted as part of Southern literature
Contemporary relevance
Zora Neale Hurston
Sterling Allen Brown
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, who won
the Pulitzer Prizewhen it was published in
Social Context
Catholic faith
In response to this slavery treatment, the South witnessed two major events in the lives of twentieth century African Americans: The Great Migration and the Civil Rights Movement.
The Great Migration :
Black people left the racism and lack of opportunities in the South and settled in northern cities.
This migration produced a new sense of independence in the black community.
Civil Rights Movement:
Its focus was against the Jim Crow laws in the South and, as a result of the Civil Rights Movement, Jim Crow laws across the South were dropped.
love story
Full transcript