Good Country People Analysis

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Flannery O’Connor’s short story, Good Country People, is a masquerade of characters who pretend to be something they are not. The wisdom of Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman hide only shallowness, the pious Manley Pointer is a cunning, deceptive trickster with a perverse hobby, while the nihilist Hulga hides, behind of seeming indifference towards faith and contempt for the simple-minded people surrounding her, a much profound and repressed need for the spiritual side of life. The first clue to Hulga’s spiritual side is her resemblance to O’Connor herself. The author’s “crippling, killing disease” (Horner), lupus, forced her to stay at home, and her life might have taken an entirely different direction had she not had this condition. Her many academic accomplishments point towards her intellectual life, much like Hulga, who had a Ph.D. in Philosophy. The character’s health issues stripped her of a chance to follow a prolific academic career, due to her short-life prospects (“with the best of care, Joy might see forty-five” – O’Conner 3), and O’Connor’s disease also prevented her from living her desired life. Nonetheless, the two women reacted to disaster in a completely different way. For O’Conner “it was exactly this physical suffering that made her understand more thoroughly about the meaning of life and the mysterious grace of God, which became the major concerns in her works.” (Bao and Zhao 89) However, while O’Conner accepted her fate and decided to put her situation to
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