In Good Country People by Flannery O’Connor, Manley Pointer a young unassuming Bible salesman successfully dupes Hulga Hopewell an unattractive yet prideful atheist with a PhD into giving him her false leg. Pointer is a man who exploits the weakness of other in order to achieve his goals. He often does this by sympathizing with other people’s conditions in life or allowing them to believe they have the upper hand. Hulga and Manley first meet when he tries to sell Mrs. Hopewell, Hulga’s mother, a Bible. This is where the first glimpses of Manley Pointer’s true intentions are seen as gains Mrs. Hopewell’s faith by using her own pride against her. Pointer mentions during his time with Mrs. Hopewell that he suffers from as similar heart issue …show more content…
That night Hulga “Imagined dialog for them…that reached below the depths that no Bible salesman would be aware of.”(6) Hulga is intent of seducing and having her way with Manley Pointer whom she finds to be inferior to her. The next morning Hulga goes out to meet Manley Pointer at the gate, but he did not appear at first leading Hulga to make the assumption that she is being duped. As she began to feel furious about being tricked Manley rose up from behind a bush proving Hulga’s assumption wrong, but providing her at taste of the betrayal yet to …show more content…
Once in the barn Manley sees another opportunity to poke at Hulga’s pride. Manley makes a comment about how she must not be able to climb the ladder to upper portion of the barn because of her wooden leg. The two of them start to kiss while Manley cajoles her to say that she loves him. During this moment of passion Hulga alludes to the fact that she believes that she is superior to Manley which slightly irritates him. He then asks Hulga where her leg attaches disturbing her sensitivities in the act. At first she refuses but quickly changes her mind when she realizes that by giving him what he desires she can get was she desires. Hulga shows Manley how the leg detaches and reattaches then allowed him to perform the actions himself. Once Manley take the leg back off he sets it aside out of her reach and returned to kissing her. He then opens up his valise reviling two Bible one of which was “…hollow and contained a pocket flask of whisky, a pack of cards, and a small blue box…” (9). At this moment Hulga comes to the realization that Manley Pointer is not all that he seems. Hulga is angry and confused “Her face turned almost purple. “You’re a Christian!” she hissed.”(9) Hulga is having trouble comprehending how someone she considers to be far beneath her is able to so easily dupe her. Manley confesses that he is not who he claims to be and that
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Hopewell perceives Hulga as physically and socially abnormal, and nothing like herself. In terms of appearance, O’Connor depicts Hulga as possessing a masculine appearance through describing Hulga with the terms “large” and “stout” (2, 4). Likewise, Hulga’s physical abnormality is a further apparent for the reason that Hulga has “an artificial leg” (O’Connor 2, 5). But, Hulga’s abnormality proceeds beyond physical deformities, as Mrs. Hopewell describes Hulga as disliking dogs, cats, birds, flowers, nature, while also dressing in a manner that Mrs. Hopewell finds “idiotic” and childish (O’Connor 5). Moreover, for social interaction, Mrs. Hopewell describes Hulga as “bloated, rude, and squint-eyed”- a far contrast from “other people” (O’Connor 5).
Two stories “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Revelation” by Flannery O' Conner both share a similar theme. The theme most common throughout both stories is religion. The author uses racism and religion in most of her stories and characters all seem to have similar personality traits. A few comparisons between “Revelation” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is that both these stories start off quick and to the point. These two stories contain a strong sense of superiority of their characters.
In the beginning of Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, the character the Misfit is a criminal that is foreshadowed in a newspaper. When the Misfit and grandmother first meet, in order for her life to be spared, the grandmother continues to convince the Misfit that he is a good man. Nonetheless, the Misfit still believes similarly like Jesus, he creates havoc too. The Misfit is aware that he and Jesus are quite equal; despite that he is a criminal and Jesus was a perfect man. It is interesting that the character would make an analogy with the Son of God.
Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple serves as a warning to her “dear girls”, for she knows the idea of love will result in heartbroken victims, as “it is now past the days of romance” for them (Rowson 29). Her hope is that by presenting this story, young women will be made aware of the dangers, which are closer to home than they would like to believe. Rowson highlights the importance that women of this time period must make rational, mature decisions, which are strongly guided by “paternal approbation”, by showing her readers the downfall of the once pure and innocent Charlotte (Rowson 29). The emphasis on Charlotte’s righteous parents is important, as it shows that if a young woman who emerges from such a strong moral background could so easily
Their strong religious values aided them in the survival of the struggle they experienced during their lives. They were two different women with similar struggles but with different situations. Although Mary Rowlandson and Anne Bradstreet both had unique struggles, both women were able to overcome their difficulties through similar faiths. Mary Rowlandson was a woman that relied on God. Rowlandson is comforted in her “low estate” by Biblical passages that [take] hold of her heart” and enable her to survive (Mary Rowlanson’s Captivity and the Place of the Woman’s Subject).
Flannery O’Connor, in her short life, wrote one novel and many short stories that impact literature to this day. She wrote two superb short stories, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Good Country People, which have many similarities hidden in the theme of their complex text. While both stories include themes about religion, identity, and the way we view others, the endings are astoundingly different. Nonetheless, O’Connor’s main theme concerning the way we view other people, is the most significant in both short stories. In Good Country People, Mrs. Hopewell repeatedly states that the bible salesman is the “salt of the earth” meaning that he is just a good and simple country boy.
“...The hunting accident...the leg had been literally blasted off” (O’Connor 484), this sentence mentioned by the author symbolizes Hulga’s personality, because when something very valuable is taken away from someone and they are aware of it, but are not able to react to it, it could change a person drastically. Hulga could have been a totally different women if she had her leg, that’s why the author decided to give her a wooden leg. In the story the author mentions how Hulga does not care about her appearance at all. When she goes on a date with Manley Pointer she wears a dirty white shirt, applies Vapex as perfume, and never smiles. “...
Throughout the story, the narrator continues to mention this image of him standing “[with] open arms” on a “cobbled street” in “a smoldering city” where he sees himself saving “a bundle of precious things [thrown] from a third-floor European window” that is Charlotte (189). The image of the “smoldering city” suggests an unfolding of some sort of disaster on a grand scale, perhaps a volcanic eruption or a war. The emphasis on the medieval aspects of the city, the “European window” and “cobbled streets” adds a fantastical sense to this image, suggesting that narrator is both exaggerating and romanticizing this relationship. Describing Charlotte as “a bundle of precious things” he happens to save, the narrator implies that he sees Charlotte as something special that only he can save because he is the person in the right place and time with “arms open” – accepting and willing to tolerate her faults. In introspection, the narrator claims that this vision is perhaps the result of having “watched too many films” (189), and suggests that he may have imagined himself of a hero of sorts who can save Charlotte from her eccentricities and anti-social behaviors.
Joy’s mother, Mrs. Hopewell, states that it is hard to think of her daughter as an adult, and that Joy’s prosthetic leg has kept her from experiencing “any normal good times” that people her age have experienced (O’Connor 3). Despite the fact that Joy has no experience with people outside of her home, Joy has contempt and spite around her mother and acquaintances alike. In fact, when Joy changed her name to Hulga, she considered it “her highest creative act” and found a self-serving pleasure when the name brought dissatisfaction to her mother (O’Connor 3). When Joy expresses her disgust with her hometown, she also shares that she would much rather be “lecturing to people who knew what she was talking about” (O’Connor 4). Therefore, Joy suggests that the people and ideas that have surrounded her are inferior to her intelligence, and this
Hulga, intelligent but naïve, is tricked by the dashing bible salesman, Manley Pointer. She owns glasses and one prosthetic leg, which she can't live without. Until one-day Hulga's perfect night was turned upside down. The drastic turn started when Manley slithered on of his many lovely lies to her and said, "I like girls that wear glasses. "(O'Connor, 7), and he reeled her out to the barn by telling her what she wanted to hear.
Since the hunting accident, Joy-Hulga has proclaimed herself as a atheist; she refuses to allow her mother who is a Christian have her Bible in the general living area. Oliver explains how Joy-Hulga has "replaced these missing items with an artificial leg and an artificial belief" due to the "nothing" that Joy-Hulga worships throughout the story (234). The "nothing" she worships comes from the "philosophy of nothing" according to Oliver (236). Joy-Hulga sees philosophy as her religion and her safe haven. With philosophy she believes she can outsmart Manley Pointer and seduce him.
Speaking quickly, as she makes her way to her dresser, she angrily states, “Don’t even offer me your sadism tonight because it isn't capable of dancing with this demon." He looks at her and doesn't say a word; instead he just observes the tension in her body as she rummages through a drawer. As he moves to stand closer