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April 3, 2006

Flannery O'Connor starring in the role of Mrs. Freeman, a Good Country Person

O'Connor, '''Good Country People'' -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)"Mrs. Freeman has a special fondness for the details of secret infections, hidden deformities, assaults upon children" (174). O'Connor could have been writing this about herself, especially the "assaults upon children" claim. Children are murdered, drowned, rejected & abandoned. O'Connor's fascination with deformity in her characters, focuses more on hidden rather than external deformites, even though Mr. Shiftlet & Hulga are both maimed. As for secrets infections, the problem is you may not know that you are infected until it's too late. This line may have been a self-criticism by O'Connor.

Posted by BrendaChristeleit at April 3, 2006 12:14 PM


I do wonder what deformities O'Connor felt she had herself. Or are all of these references purely a message about the society she lived in?

Posted by: Jennifer DiFulvio at April 3, 2006 8:40 PM

Wow, excellent point.

But as we've mentioned in class several times, O'Connor doesn't use all of those things simply to complain about society or humanity; the message seems to be a cautionary one, warning us not to make the same mistakes that some of O'Connor's characters do.

"Good Country People" is now my new favorite O'Connor story, in part due to its message. She puts human flaws on display so well.

Posted by: ChrisU at April 3, 2006 11:57 PM

Good catch, Brenda, I can maybe use this on my paper since I'm trying to dissect O'Connor a bit.

One of the things I've learned is O'Connor was an all or nothing Christian. You either believe or you don't - no middle ground at all.'

Relevant is the line (Hulga yelling at Pointer) "'You're a Christian!' she hissed. 'You're a fine Christian! You're just like them all -- say one thing and do another. You're a perfect Christian, you're ...'" (193). So I agree that she is sending a message, but maybe not a self-criticism.

Posted by: Matt Hampton at April 23, 2006 12:55 AM

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