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O'Connor, Good Country People: What is the meaning of this?

As classmate Brenda pointed out, Flannery O'Connor seems to deliberately return to the same theme over and over again in each of the short stories we've read. But I think that the repetitive nature of O'Connor's writing helps her works to accomplish their purpose more effectively.

While reading "Good Country People," I was completely emotionally stricken. O'Connor's depiction of humanity's struggle with surrender and submission touched me more deeply than most of the modern works I've read lately. At one point--when Hulga starts shushing the boy and trying to seduce him into atheism--I actually felt some kind of strong internal reaction and inexplicably threw the book across the room. I felt repulsed, furious, and horrified all at the same time. Very few stories have ever drilled that far into my core, and it was certainly a surprise to me.

While doing preliminary research and preparing a proposal for my third literary research paper--a paper which examines the archetypes of the characters within the story--I started to understand why the story was able to stab at my nerves; in Hulga, I saw some of my own worst qualities, and in her friendship and succeeding struggle with the Bible-sellling boy (her shadow aspect), I saw an internal battle that I continue to fight daily. In my paper, I plan to explain how the boy showed Hulga her own flaws and helped her to understand them. It mirrors my experience while reading the story; I recognized some of my own flaws, and O'Connor's writing helped me to understand them. What a fantastic height to reach in the craft of writing, to have such an impact on people for generations. I'm reminded of my own goals as a writer.


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Actually, atheist, I was simply telling the truth. I did throw the book across the room, and I did indeed have a strong emotional response to this story. It was not merely the fact that she was trying to convince the boy to be an Atheist, but rather the highly seductive manner in which she did so that struck me. In fact, if you would read more carefully, you would notice that I said I saw some of my own worst qualities in Hulga, which was another aspect of my response. It had nothing to do with her religious choices, but rather, it was an emotional response to seeing so much of myself in a character I did not like for many reasons (such as her personality and her actions).

Note, of course, that not once did I trumpet Christianity, nor the Bible, in this blog entry.

Your comment, on the other hand, was rather quick to attack me simply for having beliefs that differ from your own.

You're kidding, right? You threw the book because she was trying to convince the boy to be an Atheist? Let me guess... you're a fuckin' Christian Bible slamer. Grow up.

Sounds like someone is very unhappy that this blog entry did not help him or her avoid having to think about a homework assigment.

This, my dear readers, is an example of another archetype: the Bully.

"Conventional wisdom holds that underneath a bully is a coward trying to keep others from discovering his true identity."

Hey, look, it's true. Didn't even use his/her own real name after arguing that it should be required to post. Makes him/her a bully and a hypocrite.

"Symbolically, the Coward within must stand up to being bullied by his own inner fears, which is the path to empowerment through these two archetypes."

There's some free advice for you, bully.

Persons using this websight should be required to post their names on their postings. When people write things like this bulvine skitology about absurdly comical short stories which couldn't possibly be taken seriously should have to defend their theses. Theses, yeah right, it's more like feces. Keep up the bullshit. Threw my book across the room. Unoriginal and not entertaining.

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