Good Country People 'And Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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First impressions are very important, but should they leave a lasting effect? In Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People” and Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” the antagonists represent the preceding idea that the protagonists should not take them on their face value. Both authors plunge into this world when their stories’ protagonists meet “strangers” who, at first, seem alluring, but in the end, make them meet with an untimely fate. In both Oates’ and O’Connor’s stories, the “stranger” is representative of men, whose goal is to take power from women and other groups, who are deemed powerless. In Oates’ story, the reader is introduced to the protagonist, Connie, as being a young, pretty and very naive girl. Connie…show more content…
At the start of the story, Manley is seen as being timid and kind, but Hulga soon learns that this was all an act. Manley had charmed his way into Hulga’s life, first, by working over her mother, Mrs. Hopewell. Manley had come to their home to sell bibles, but soon was invited in by Mrs. Hopewell. It was here where the deceptions began. He put on a mask of a timid young man with a heart condition, one that also affects Hulga, to win the sympathies of both women. It had worked on Mrs. Hopewell, but Hulga was not so easily swayed. However, despite this, Hulga soon agreed to go on a picnic with Manley, possibly to better understand who he was and what he wanted. This picnic, however, proved to be an unfortunate decision of Hulga’s behalf. Like her mother, she had been lulled into a false sense of a security by Manley’s façade. Although she knew there was more to him, she had not imagined his intentions were foul. At one point during the picnic, Manley becomes fixated on one very important part of Hulga, her leg, which is a wooden prosthetic. “’Show me where your wooden leg joins on,’… ‘… Why do you want to see it?’ The boy gave her a long penetrating look. ‘Because,’ he said, ‘it’s what makes you different…’ (O’Connor 13-14). Although Manley had not been lying about this, he also wasn’t telling the complete truth. He had thought that Hulga’s

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