Irony In Flannery O Connor's Good Country People

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There is a common saying of “two sides to the same coin” that has been used by individuals to describe how one person, place, or idea may seem to be one entity, but in reality is another. This idea that there are two different sides of the same idea is considered irony which helps create a comedic tone in the situation. In the context of the short story, “Good Country People,” by Flannery O’Connor, many of the characters are described as being “good country people,” as the title indicates. Characters such as Hulga and Manley Pointer, two of the main characters in the short story, each have an initial identity that carries them throughout the story until new information is discovered by the end of the narrative. This new information creates …show more content…

The first encounter with Manley is when he attempts to sell Bibles to Mrs. Hopewell. He sweet-talks her into believing that he, as well, is a “good country people” by saying things such as “I know you’re a Chrustian because I can see it in every line of your face” (230). The tone that O’Connor uses in his words sets a mood of trust and mutual understanding due to the wooing. By putting a sense of hope in Mrs. Hopewell’s mind in relation to Manley himself, he titles himself a “good country people.” After gaining the trust of Hulga, and attempting to seduce her when they were in the barn on their date, it is revealed that he is the opposite of what he was describing himself as. Mrs. Hopewell, Mrs. Freeman, and Hulga all thought that he was a young, strong, Christian that could do no harm; this is not the case as he is evil through and …show more content…

While the couple is on a date in the barn, and Manley brings out the whiskey, cards, and condoms from the hollowed Bible, Hulga realizes that Manley is not the Christian man he claimed to be and says, “Aren’t you … aren’t you just good country people?” (250). This is when she realizes that there is nothing such as a “good country people” because no one is who they claim to be. While it appears that Manley’s character changes from start to end, this is not true; he was hiding who he was at the core in order to produce the results that he wanted which was an exploitation of Hulga. Because of this, the interpretation changes. The interpretation is important to the story because it shows that the perception of a person is not always who they are, leading to the realization that it is necessary to not be blinded by first

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