Country people are usually considered to be humble and hard-working individuals and Flannery O’Connor uses the concept as an ironic title in her story “Good Country People”. The story opens with a description of Mrs. Freeman who is the wife of Mrs. Hopewell’s most recent tenant farmer. Mrs. Hopewell was hesitant in hiring her due to hearing from Mrs. Freeman’s reference that Mrs. Freeman was “the nosiest woman ever to walk the earth”, “she’s got to be into everything”, “she’ll want to know all your business” (2525); however, Mrs. Hopewell still hired the Freemans as she had no other applicants and made it clear that “she would see to it that she was into everything- she would give her the responsibility of everything, she would put her in charge” (2525) making Mrs. Freeman so busy that it would give her no opportunity to be a busybody. Mrs. Hopewell, a divorcee with an optimist but naive outlook has a well-educated daughter who is in her thirties, Joy, who is disabled and a bitter person.
Later on into the story, a self-proclaimed Christian and country boy, Manly Pointer, came to the Hopewell Farm to sell bibles. He sold himself neatly to Mrs. Hopewell who believed he was a good country boy he portrayed himself to be however thought he was boring. Pointer then lures Joy to the barn the next day and while Joy thought she was going to seduce and educate Pointer, he had his own less than admirable agenda.
Mrs. Hopewell is an optimist, which we can see reflected in the name chosen for her by O’Connor. Mrs. Hopewell uses a lot of clichés and truisms in...
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...t of the earth” (2529). Mrs. Hopewell is known for her clichés, an ideal cliché for this story “Good Country People” should be “don’t judge a book by its cover”. For Mrs. Hopewell had considered the Manly Pointer “simple” which reflects her ignorance towards evil in the 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.
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.
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