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Redemption In Flannery O Connor's Good Country People

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Throughout much of O’Connor’s works, there is this idea that a character needs redemption, as Dorothy Walters suggests in her book, Flannery O’Connor. Walters also states when these characters are enlightened, it is often “through catastrophe.” In O’Connor’s “Good Country People,” this salvation through violence occurs for Joy. Through the evaluation of Joy’s downfalls in character and her misinterpretation of Manley Pointer, Joy has a horrific experience that will forever change her perspective and reform her overconfidence. Before Joy/Hulga even meets Manley Pointer, readers understand that she has a lack of experience in the real world. 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
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