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Essay about Good Country People

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Good Country People “Woman, Do You Ever Look Inside?”

There are many themes within Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Good Country People”. Religion is definitely one of the more prominent themes that the story holds. Like most of O’Connor’s works, it plays a big part in the actions or characteristics of the main characters. This is all on the surface however. The more important and less accentuated theme is the various facades the characters create for themselves. These facades prevent them from facing their true “grotesque” selves. These facades also hide their weaknesses that they have no wish to face ort just can’t understand. People must be comfortable with every aspect of themselves, because certain people, who in this story
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The quote acts as foreshadowing for what her attitude towards life will be. We later find out that she is right, but that she does not live by her credo. Manley Pointer exploits this weakness as soon as she opened her door. Showing up as a pathetic bible salesman with an ailing heart (which is coincidentally exactly what Joy-Hulga had) laying the old guilt trip on Mrs. Hopewell on how no one wants to deal with a simple country boy like himself, he attacks her weakness right at the heart of it. Not more than two minutes after he knocked on the door, he ends up eating dinner with them and at the conclusion is even invited to return any time he’d like. His persona blinds Mrs. Hopewell and prevents her from being somewhat suspicious of Manley. At the end of the story, we see that Mrs. Hopewell is still clouded by her weakness and refers to Manly as simple as he passes through a field by Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman. Unlike Mrs. Hopewell, Joy-Hulga faces and comes to a realization of her weakness.

Joy-Hulga, who had grown cynical and cold as she grew up with only one leg and heart ailment, creates an image that she is smarter and better than the rest of the characters in the story. Her education and self-absorption seemed to instill this attitude in her to greater extent than if she hadn’t studied and read so much. Her weakness is the feeling of power she believed she gained from her studies. She refers to herself as a person who “sees
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