Relationships In Good Country People, By Flannery O'connor

2561 words - 10 pages

Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" is a story told through the examination of the relationships between the four main characters. All of the characters have distinct feelings about the others, from misunderstanding to contempt. Both Joy-Hulga, the protagonist, and Manley Pointer, the antagonist, are multi-faceted characters. While all of the characters have different levels of complexity, Joy-Hulga and Manley Pointer are the deepest and the ones with the most obvious facades.

The first character we encounter is Mrs. Freeman. She is the wife of Mrs. Hopewell's tenant farmer. She is a very outspoken woman, and "she [can] never be brought to admit herself wrong on any point" (O'Connor 180). Mrs. Freeman is a gossip; she is nosy and she "ha[s] a special fondness for the details of secret infections, hidden deformities, assaults upon children" (O'Connor 183).

Mrs. Freeman wants to be an authority on everyone else's personal business. She is never shy of sharing the details of her daughters' lives with Mrs. Hopewell. I get the impression that she tells anyone that she meets the intimate details of the lives of Glynese, Carramae, Mrs. Hopewell, and Joy-Hulga. Being a poor tenant farmer's wife, her only weapon is her speech (Enjoiras 36). In order to compete with Mrs. Hopewell, she must be constantly on the look-out for ways to subtly one-up her in the course of their conversations. Asals describes their conversations as "hackneyed one-upmanship" (99). For example, the way they speak to each other one rnorning goes like this:

"Everybody is different," Mrs. Hopewell said.

"Yes, most people is," Mrs. Freeman said.

"It takes all kinds to make the world."

"I always said it did myself." (O'Connor 181 -82)

This is typical dialogue for them, riddled with clichés and trite expressions. Mrs. Freeman knows she cannot compete with Mrs. Hopewell monetarily, but she always gets the last word in their conversations.

Mrs. Freeman is a very domineering woman. In comparison to her husband, she is "the wheel behind the wheel" (O'Connor 181). Enjolras classifies Mrs. Freeman as "self- righteous" (36). Because she is not the landowner, she knows she must be careful in her contempt for Mrs. Hopewell's possessions. Although she is not as materially wealthy as Mrs. Hopewell, she takes great pride in her daughters. Mrs. Freeman revels in the fact that Glynese and Carramae have admirers, while Joy-Hulga, though twice their ages, has never had a relationship with a boy.

When Mrs. Hopewell is not in earshot, Mrs. Freeman addresses Joy as Hulga. Mrs. Freeman is intrigued by Joy-Hulga's wooden leg. It is one of the deformities with which she is so fascinated. Mitchell writes that "Mrs. Freeman is fascinated by the leg, but it is a 'secret infection,' spiritual and psychological in nature, of which the leg provides intimations" (2). 1 think Mrs. Freeman calls Joy by the name she chose because she...

Find Another Essay On Relationships in Good Country People, by Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People Essay

654 words - 3 pages Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" In "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor, uses symbolism in the choice of names, almost to the point of being ironic and humorous. These names center around the personality and demeanor of the characters. Hulga, once known as Joy, simply changed her name because it was the ugliest she could think of. Mrs. Freeman's name is ironic because she is burdened by the land that she works, so is

Flannery O’Connor’s Good Country People Essay

1394 words - 6 pages comes to her mother. Not only does she dress like a child, she stomps around the house to ensure that Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman hear her. Hulga does not actually want her mother to understand her because she lashes out at her mother. If she truly wanted her mother to realize her philosophical thought she would have attempted to explain it and not shout at Hopewell. Each woman has her own faults. Works Cited O'Connor, Flannery. "Good Country People." Trans. Array A Good Man is Hard to Find. New York: Harcourt, 1995. 433-447. Print.

Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People

1363 words - 6 pages world for he had caused her daughter severe mental and physical anguish. Such ignorance was Mrs. Hopewell’s greatest fault of allowing evil doings and not protecting her daughter as she claimed of treating her like a child. Each character were perceived to be good or showed certain behavioral signs. Until further analysis were done in understanding how each character was “broken” in their way. Works Cited O'Connor, Flannery. "The Norton Anthology American Literature." Good Country People. Ed. Nina Baym and Robert S. Levine. 8th ed. New York City: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2013. 2524-37. Print.

Ignorance Is Bliss in Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People

1058 words - 4 pages to depend on God. Ironically she finds her self depending on those "good country people" that she first perceived to be ignorant while in actuality she was the ignorant one. Works Cited O'Connor, Flannery. Good Country People. Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, And Drama. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Longman. 2002.

Feminism and New Historicism in Flannery O’Connor’s Good Country People

2168 words - 9 pages Feminism and Historicism play a major part in Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “Good Country People”, first published in 1955. The story focuses on the importance of identity and the parallels between truth and deception. In “Good Country People”, the Hopewell family, maintain a small farm in rural Georgia with the help of tenants the Freemans. The pious Mrs. Hopewell’s mottos ‘nothing is perfect’ and ‘it takes all kinds to make the world’ are

"A Good Man Is Hard To Find" by Flannery O'Connor

635 words - 3 pages different way than the first time. This is a great novel to read, but must be read more than once for a true appreciation of how well O'Connor fools the reader. By convincing the reader that the family would never run into to The Misfit, and that no harm would ever come to this normal familyWorks Cited:"Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man is Hard to find'" Essortment Home Page. oconno_rkk.html

Symbolism in A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

1996 words - 8 pages in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" Flannery O' Connor uses symbolism to give more meaning to her short story. O'Connor writes a story of a Grandmother versus a Misfit, or good versus evil. This short story is about a family going to Florida, who takes a turn down a dirt road, which only causes them to get in an accident, and be found by the Misfit. This encounter prevented them from ever arriving Florida, because the Misfit ends their lives. Using

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

1446 words - 6 pages and unimaginable transformation in the heart is certainly unusual and cannot just be accepted by the society. However, Flannery O’Connor’s could probably be using this situation to illustrate the role played by religion in making people acquire good morals. This could be associated with the author’s strong belief in Roman Catholicism and Christianity. In particular, the author seems to be driving to the fact that religion can make us good and

"A Good Man Is Hard To Find" by Flannery O'Connor

667 words - 3 pages In the beginning of "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" O'Connor describes the behavior of the Grandmother somewhat childlike. Personally, I hate her character in the beginning. She wants to get her way, and tries every possible ways to manipulate her son to satisfy her desire. I blame her selfish and lack of conscience when she blurts out "You're The Misfit! I recognized you at once!" (O'Connor 560) If she has just keep her mouth shut her family will

A Good Man is Hard to Find, by Flannery O'Connor

1950 words - 8 pages between high hills “looking down over the blue tops of trees” and “a red depression with the dust-coated trees looking down on them” (231). It cannot be ignored that it is the grandmother who selfishly leads the family along this final road to their doom by diverting them all from the correct road into one of these hell-like “red depressions” (231). Good and goodness also pervade the story figuring both in the title and in the grandmother’s

Flannery O'Connor In "A Good Man Is Hard To Find"

1280 words - 5 pages Flannery O'Connor was born in Georgia in 1925 during the Great Depression. She was an only child, brought up in a highly religious home, and grew up in the South. These aspects of her life become apparent when reading her short stories. O'Connor's most famed story; "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" follows an obscure family on their vacation to Florida. She uses life, as she knows it, to convey a world that she believes exists. "What she learned as a

Similar Essays

Good Country People By Flannery O'connor

1658 words - 7 pages Apr. 2014. Behiling, Laura L. "The Necessity of Disability in 'Good Country People' and 'The Lame Shall Enter First'." Flannery O'Connor Review 4 (2006): 88-89. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. Edmondson, Henry T. "'Wingless Chickens': 'Good Country People' and the Seduction of Nihilism." Flannery O'Connor Review 2 (2003): 63-73. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. Gayman, Cynthia. "In Hope of Recognition: The

Symbolization In The Good Country People By Flannery O'connor

1616 words - 7 pages “Good Country People” is a short story written by Flannery O’Connor in the mid 50’s. The story takes place on farm in Georgia that Mrs. Hopewell owns. Flannery O’Connor uses the characters names and personalities to symbolize that they aren’t really who they think they are. The protagonist Joy-Hulga has a heart condition which and a peg leg. Her heat condition and disability reflects that she is a broken and weak person on the inside. Mrs

The Character Of Hulga In Good Country People By Mary Flannery O'connor

1096 words - 4 pages The Character of Hulga in Good Country People by Mary Flannery O'Connor   By definition joy means a great feeling of pleasure and happiness. In Mary Flannery O'Connor's short story Good Country People, Joy Freeman was not at all joyful. Actually, she was the exact opposite. Joy's leg was shot off in a hunting accident when she was ten. Because of that incident, Joy was a stout girl in her thirties who had never danced a step or had any

A Comparison Of Julian In "Everything That Rises Must Converge" And Hulga In "Good C Ountry People," Two Stories By Flannery O'connor

718 words - 3 pages Flannery O'Connor's two narratives, "Everything That Rises Must Converge" and "Good Country People," are different stories presenting different characters, different plots, and different themes; however, both stories revolve around a mother and her child and their relationship. "Everything That Rises Must Converge" concerns Julian and his mother, and "Good Country People" concerns Hulga and her mother. As the two stories unfold, the similarities