Thesis on Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People Essay

850 Words Jun 20th, 2008 4 Pages
Thesis Statement: In Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People," the expulsion of the outside world allows for more emphasis on the symbolic nature of each of the active characters.

I. The Kitchen
A. Introduction of the characters
B. Symbolic use of names in Free.man and Hope.well
C. Introduction of the outside world
II. The Bible Salesman
A. The façade of names
B. The absence of other men
C. Separation from the Outside world
III. The Barn Loft
A. Opening the gate for failure
B. Scaling the ivory tower
C. Widening the scope from detail to general

In the short story "Good Country People," by Flannery O'Connor the world is made smaller in order to look with great scrutiny at the players of this game of life. There
…show more content…
After loosing her leg at the age of ten, and remaining aware for the entire episode, she is stripped of the capacity for Joy, and Hope both. The Freeman name is a direct play on the status of the family as tenant farmers, as while Mrs. Freeman may come in and rest her elbow on the refrigerator as she likes, the family is certainly not free, nor will they ever enjoy the social or financial freedom of the Hopewells. This last name is likewise given a dual meaning. Mrs. Hopewell in simply incapable of doing less than assuming all is well that ends well. The bible salesman even alludes to a direct play on the family name as he jokes "I hope you are well!" The introduction of the bible salesman, Manley Pointer, is in and of itself another play on the use of names as symbolic meaning. This is evidenced by the very phallic nature of the name and his sole representation of the male gender as an active character. Manley's presence is the first and only physical arrival of the outside community in the Hopewell home. The rest of the social interactions with others are kept at great distance. The phone conversation with the previous employer of the Freeman's, Hulga's university, even the "...Negros back in there," which Mrs. Hopewell assumes he's been selling bibles to when he departs with Hulga's wooden leg, are kept outside of the action.

When Manley and Hulga sneak away from the sanctity of the home to rendezvous on the road outside, it is toyed with as a
Open Document