Good Country People Symbolism

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David Joseph Lynch Dr. Lehman AP English Literature 22 October 2015 O’Connor Essay O’Connor, renowned for her latent yet poignant usage of symbolism, often provides complex details seemingly unrelated to a specific story as a means to further these symbolic approaches. Animals lie abound in “A Good Man is Hard To Find”; irregular church imagery recurs throughout “Temple of the Holy Ghost”; varied weather prevails in “The Life You Say May Be Your Own.” Too, in her darkly comedic “Good Country People,” O’Connor weaves many miniscule details into the story to reiterate various themes and motifs—extending the story far beyond the words sitting on the page. The misleadingly religious Manley Pointer successfully woos rebellious Hulga; ultimately,…show more content…
Rebellious yet alienated at the beginning, she evidently contrasts the cordial Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman. While the two older women often spend their time gossiping, Hulga remains tacit. Too, from the start, she holds virtually no genuine emotion—her “constant outrage had obliterated every expression from her face…[she had] the look of someone who had achieved blindness by an act of will and means to keep it” (171). Ironically, the girl with glasses finds herself blind: a clear paradox that presents the difference between physical vision and emotional vision. Obviously, Hulga has the means to see the world, and quite clearly, too, for her glasses provide her with better vision than without. However, her emotional vision is absent—her ability to see the world with feeling is nil—therefore, she is blind from that perspective. Such a contrast runs throughout the story; while others hold the capacity to express emotion, she does not (on similar lines as Hulga’s religious views compared to her family’s). O’Connor rarely describes her facial expressions either, also hinting at her inability to display emotion. It is only when Manley comes into the picture that Hulga can achieve some emotionality. Interestingly, though, before Manley asks her on a date, he expresses…show more content…
With this, too, she begins to exhibit excitement and love: characteristics earlier nonexistent. Almost immediately after ascending into the loft, Manley begins kissing Hulga, to which she doesn’t return any of his kisses (at first). Quickly, though, he takes “[her glasses] off of her and [slips] them into his pocket” and she begins to kiss “him again and again as if she were trying to draw all the breath out of him” (190). Almost instantly after Manley swipes her glasses, her romanticism commences and she acts upon the emotions she dreamed about the night before. Finally, Hulga has the ability to express excitement—to ‘see emotionally.’ Furthermore, for the remainder of the scene, O’Connor depicts Hulga’s shifting facial expressions. Most evidently, after Manley departs with Hulga’s prosthetic leg and she lies immobile in the loft, she turns “her churning face toward the [barn’s] opening” where she sees Manley’s “blue figure struggling successfully over the green speckled lake” (195). Despite Manley’s tricky, inhumane robbery, Hulga’s face no longer holds static—she begins to find some capacity to move her face in accordance to her genuine emotions. With Manley’s

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