The Significance of Names in Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People

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The Significance of Names in Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" Most of Flannery O'Connor's stories seem to contain the same elements: satirical and regional humor, references to God and Christianity, violent similes and metaphors, lots of stereotypical characters, grotesque humor and often focuses a lot of description on character's clothes and faces. However, one of the most important elements of O'Connor's "Good Country People" is the relevance of names. Her choice of names seem to give indications about the personalities of the characters and seem to be more relevant to the story than what the reader would commonly overlook as simply being stock character names. Mrs. Hopewell losing her "joy" (both her daughter and her…show more content…
so that he could get rid of her sty. To the modern reader, this can be interpreted as a sexist remark from Harvey Hill that a woman with any sort of ailment "needs? sex to "cure? herself, and again could add to the inference of Glynese's sexual activity and intellectual capacity. Also, Southern folklore deduces that a sty can sometimes be brought on by a prolonged abstinence from sex, and soon diminishes once the person has sex again. The sudden disappearance of Glynese's sty proves this point after a night of sexual activity with Harvey Hill. The contemporary interpretation of this could be how women "glow? after a night of intense love making. However, since none of these activities are common of an eighteen-year-old girl at this time, this is evidence of why O'Connor chose to give her such an unusual name. Then there is Ms. Hopewell. Her name seems to refer to her positivistic outlook on life and her willingness to always, in a sense, hope for the best. She always has little sayings such as "nothing is perfect,? "a smile never hurt anyone,? and "good country people are the salt of the earth,? which suggest even more of a need to always seek out the best in people (172-176). Mrs. Hopewell "can't be rude to anybody? and "could not understand deliberate rudeness, although she lived with it, and she felt she had always to overflow with hospitality to make up for Joy's lack of course? (177). Even when
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