Symbolism In Flannery O Connor's Good Country People

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Symbolism has been seen as a very important role in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Good country people”. Flannery O’Conner has written several short stories portraying herself as a Catholic writer who attacks religious views being opposed, though uses the fundamentals of nihilism portrayed through Hulga (Joy), a character from her story. She uses multiple frank descriptions and the usage of different types of symbolism to get the audience to understand her main points. The symbolistic use of names and an artificial leg give a vivid description of the main character and her views towards nihilism. The usage of names, name change and a prosthetic leg all link the main character’s nihilistic philosophy of life which leads to her tragic event.…show more content…
A few characters that carry this linkage include Glynese, Carramae, Mrs. Freeman, Mrs. Hopewell, Manley Pointe and Joy (Hulga). The names O’Conner gave to each character are not just simple titles but as well give a deeper meaning of her short story. For example Mrs. Freeman has two daughters named Glynese and Carramae who are brought into the story as indirect characters though play an important role towards Joy’s life. In Hulga’s world they are known as Glycerin and Caramel. “Glynese, a redheaded eighteen year old with many admirers” (O’Conner 168), seems to bother Hulga in a way because she is young and has a great ability to grab the attention of males, a factored not greatly possessed by Hulga’s part. Meanwhile on the other hand “Carramae, a blonde fifteen year old but already married and pregnant”(O’Conner 168), leaves Hulga in a state of being unsatisfied and not having the same power to actually get a male someday. She feels like she simply does not have the right attributes because of her physical appearance and how she is seen by others. Therefore, in this case Hulga identifies both names as glycerin which is a fat or oil used in a common household soaps and caramel a sweet tooth dessert but sickening if eaten too much. Both character names are renamed
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