Relationships in Good Country People, by Flannery O'Connor Essay examples

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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;
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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 derives secret pleasure in irritating her.

Asals brings forth the idea that Mrs. Freeman is a "symbolic mother to Manley Pointer. Both are given the last words in the scenes in which they last appear in the story. Since Joy-Hulga has turned out to be as naive as Mrs. Hopewell, Manley is shown to be as evil as Mrs. Freeman can presumably become
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