Good Country People Short Story Analysis

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Imagine a world with no pain or suffering. The typical human being would think that a world that does not have to endure pain or suffering would be wonderful, but not Flannery O’Connor. This American writer expressed her theory about why the world was not created to have perfect human beings who live perfect lives by using fictional short stories. Due to her religious beliefs, Flannery O’Connor feels it is necessary to inform her audience the importance of undergoing a hardship, demonstrated in many forms of symbolism. Throughout the short stories “Good Country People” and “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, Flannery O’Connor validates the necessity of distress, whether it be physically or emotionally, in order to reach a state of redemption.
In order to make the need for suffering evident, the greatest flaw O’Connor gave her characters was physical impairment due to the meaning behind it. Expressed in the short story “Good Country People”, a physical impairment can lead to emotional, intellectual, or spiritual impairments. According to an article written by Laura L. Behling, “Hulga Hopewell needs to be unattractively angry, and she needs to be physically un-whole, in order for the true ugliness in the story to emerge from those characters who are, in fact, physically whole” (88-89). The main character, Joy-Hulga, encounters difficulty in living a normal life as a result of having a “weak heart” (O’Connor). In a scholarly journal, Kate Oliver explains how “her weak heart

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