Flannery O Connor's Good Country People

2195 Words9 Pages
As an intellectual who immersed herself in the questions of religious, ethical, and political significance in the middle of the twentieth century, Flannery O’Connor ironically explores the dangers of being an intellectual. She does not simply leave readers with this, rather she warns readers of the dangers of being an intellectual who chooses to disregard the existence of a divine being and instead decides to rely on the myth of self reliance. In writing “Good Country People,” three individual subcategories of intellectuals are presented with differing moral and philosophic positions who are, in turn, either subtly ridiculed or scorned outright in order to expose the faults in their respective preconceptions about the truth of existence. Her…show more content…
The conman Pointer personifies Hulga’s views on life that she wishes she possessed—a worldview that “truly” embraces the void of the Real. Hulga’s complete rejection of religious zeal accompanied by Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman’s abundant acceptance of doctrine are what serve to propel Hulga into this tragic-comedic outcome. All the characters’ blindness served as steps upon which the character with no morality could trample upon Hulga’s joy altogether. She thought she had done so by changing her name; however, Pointer shows her a deeper form of misery by exposing her dependencies and insecurities by way of preying upon her ideological crutch, her humanist blindness. Her humanism masked her feelings of ugliness and inadequacy. It makes sense symbolically speaking that the piece of Hulga that is both part and not a part of her, the wooden leg, would be taken by someone who truly cares for no other person, thing, or idea. One critic states, “…Pointer fooled Hulga and she mistook him for a Christian until he put her right on that score just before running off with her leg” (Sparrow). The simple and ignorant Mrs. Freeman and Mrs. Hopewell conclude the story by watching the cunning conman lumber off with his newly acquired prosthetic leg, and Mrs. Freeman utters one of the most ironic statements of the tale: “Some can’t be that simple, I know I never could” (O’Connor 291). What she fails to realize, is that she represents the very genre of individual, the good country people, whom she regards as

More about Flannery O Connor's Good Country People

Open Document