The Characterization In Good Country People

In Flannery O'Connor's short tale 'Good Country People,' the most essential component is characterization, which aids in the development of identity values. The individuals are self-contained, whereas the concept is interdependent. The behaviors of the characters reinforce one another. Throughout the story, many identities are revealed, but the actual identities of the characters are revealed near the end. In O'Connor's cautionary note, he warns the reader to be wary of people who pretend to be someone else. Identifying with oneself and others is a central theme to 'Good Country People.' In the eyes of Mrs. Hopewell, her employees are either 'good rural folk' or 'trash,' and she thinks she's above them all. Her identity remains constant throughout this darkly humorous story. On the other hand, Hulga, who shares many of her beliefs, is dealing with an identity crisis because of her health issues and general superiority complex. Social status, Christianity, and innocence versus experience are some of the themes in “Good Country People”. Through Mrs. Hopewell and her daughter, JoyHulga, Flannery O'Connor depicts a damaged mother-daughter relationship in her short tale 'Good Country People.'

Both the mother and the daughter are blinded by the labels they wear when they interact with other people. As Hulga Hopewell becomes increasingly involved with the lives of her lovely rural neighbors, she finds that nothing is as it seems, and that her own identity is seriously questioned consequently. While O'Connor turns the perspective of other characters and illustrates the folly of using such a hierarchical approach to seeing the world for what it may be, she also shows how subjective a view of the world may be. Hulga views herself at a higher level of education from others which places her in a position of superiority and allows her to see things in the narrative as they really are. She considers herself capable of defining herself, even changing her given name from Joy to Hulga, thereby putting herself in the top echelon of her society.

Having lost a leg in a hunting accident when she was ten years old, Joy is both emotionally and physically disabled, and her heart problem serves as a reminder of her suffering. As a result of her alienation, Joy becomes an academic, but this only makes her feel more isolated because it allows her to believe that she is better than everyone else. By being offensive and insensitive to everyone, she intends to make herself as unattractive as possible. Her mother refuses to accept her for who she is, not just because of her mother's fundamental outlook on life. 'If you want me, I'm here-LIKE I AM,' Hulga snarls. A name change gives her the opportunity to express her dissatisfaction as well as reinvent herself. 'One of her greatest triumphs was that her mother had not been able to change her dust into Joy,' but 'the larger one was that she had been able to turn it into Hulga herself.'

According to the narrative, Hulga suffered bodily harm when she was only 10 years old. However, she had had over 20 years to learn to accept her condition, as she could take care of herself and walk using a wooden artificial limb. In contrast, Hulga was very sensitive about her artificial leg, as she told the new man she was interested in, 'I never touched it but myself' (O'Connor 456). As a result of her injury, Hulga has lost both her leg as well as her faith and hope, and her mother is unable to see her daughter as the complex individual that she really is. Due to this, each character tries to understand themselves in terms of more than just their social status or education. Most characters in the narrative consider themselves to be at the top of the food chain when it comes to understanding themselves and the world around them.

The short tale 'Good Country People' by Flannery O'Connor explores the ways in which individuals deceive one another and themselves. Mrs. Hopewell deludes herself into believing that if she maintains a positive outlook, everything will work out for her daughter. She tries to view her daughter not as she really is, but as she would like her to become. When it comes to intimacy, JoyHulga hides behind her academic pride as a method to avoid being known intimately. As soon as she agrees to let Manley Pointer in, she discovers how completely he has conned her. Manley Pointer can detect Joyfrailty Hulga's and take use of it for his own gain. He deceives people as a profession and a hobby.

07 July 2022
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