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Good and Evil in Good Country People

Good and Evil in Good Country People

In “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor, the masked truth is reflected unequivocally through the reality in the story, its equal counterpart. For every good or evil thing, there is an antagonist or opposing force. Each character has a duplicate personality mirrored in someone else in the story.

In the story, the names and personalities of the characters clash. The name is the mask covering the personality, which is representative of the reality aspect of each character. When Mrs. Hopewell named her daughter Joy, she was hoping for all the joy that comes with raising a child and watching the child develop a life of its own. What Mrs. Hopewell received was a disabled daughter who lived miserably at home and was the antithesis of everything her mother believed.

The name Hulga is also a mask. When Joy changed her name to Hulga, Mrs. Hopewell had made up her mind that Joy “had thought and thought until she hit upon the ugliest name in any language” (O’Connor 299). Although Joy-Hulga chose the name because of its “ugly sound” and how well it suited her, she “secretly desired an inner self that was beautifully unique” (Bloom 99).

The name Manley, the Bible salesman, has similar implications. The name Manley includes the word “man,” but he is constantly revealed through his child-like acts such as his mumbling “was like the sleepy fretting of a child” (O’Connor 307). O’Connor also refers to him as having sweet breath like a child’s and his “kisses were sticky like a child’s” (307).

The beginning of the story, “Good Country People,” is misleading. At first, the story points to Mrs. Freeman and Manley Pointer as being good country people. According to Mrs. Hopewell t…

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… the story. Flannery O’Connor portrayed both the good and the evil side of human nature. She also explored religious issues that are prevalent in today’s society. The struggle between good and evil and real and hidden truths build the foundations for “Good Country People.”

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold, ed. Flannery O’Connor. New York: Chelsea, 1986.

Humphries, Jefferson. The Otherness Within: Gnostic Readings in Marcel Proust, Flannery O’Connor, and Francois Villion. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1983.

May, John R. The Pruning Word: The Parables of Flannery O’Connor. Notre Dame, IN: U of Notre Dame P, 1976.

O’Connor, Flannery. “Good Country People.” Literature: Reading, Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. 3rd ed. Ed. Robert DiYanni. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994. 297-310.

Walters, Dorothy. Flannery O’Connor. New York: Twayne, 1973.

Free Great Gatsby Essays: The Truly Great Gatsby

The Truly Great Gatsby

Is his novel the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald creates Gatsby as a character who becomes great. He begins life as just an ordinary, lower-class, citizen. But Gatsby has a dream of becoming wealthy. After meeting Daisy, he has a reason to strive to become prominent. Throughout his life, Gatsby gains the title of truly being great.

Even before Gatsby is introduced, he is hinted at being out of the ordinary. The first evidence of this is when Nick says, “Gatsby turned out all right at the end.” (2) Nothing was known about Gatsby at the time and Nick is already saying Gatsby was okay. There’s a air of mysteriousness surrounding Gatsby. Everyone knows of him, but no one knows who he really is or where he comes from. Even at our first glance of Gatsby, he’s reaching out for something only he can see.

There were many stories flying about Gatsby but no one knew what to really believe. In on instance Jordan made the comment, “I think he killed a man.” (49) Even when Gatsby confessed about his past he didn’t always tell the truth. He told Nick he inherited great wealth, but in reality, Gatsby gained his wealth on his own. Even though Gatsby lied, the fact that he made himself what he was makes him even that much greater.

When Gatsby was still James Gatz, he had a dream of leaving his life on the farm behind and become part of the upper-class. Even Gatsby’s father knew when he said, “If he’d lived, he’d of been a great man.” (169) Little did his father know that Gatsby was already great. Gatsby didn’t always do the right thing to gain his wealth but he was always good at heart.

His first real break in the outside world was when he met his best friend Dan Cody. Gatsby was seventeen at the time and had just left his life on the farm. Cody was a wealthy man of fifty and he showed Gatsby the ways of the world. It was said that Cody found Gatsby to be ” … quick and extravagantly ambitious.” (101) He took Gatsby in and treated him almost as a son. Gatsby was to inherit some of Cody’s wealth after his death but was stripped of his inheritance by Ella Kaye.

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