Education vs. Flirtation

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"Whenever she looked at Joy this way, she could not help but feel that it would have been better if the child had not taken the Ph.D.  It had certainly not brought her out any and now that she had it, there was no more excuse for her to go to school again.  Mrs. Hopewell thought it was nice for girls to go to school to have a good time but Joy had 'gone through'" (O'Connor 173-174).

This quote relates to what I blogged about in one of my previous entries entitled "Lack Of Knowledge, Lack Of Values?"  Again, Flannery O'Connor seems to be playing upon the values of southern society at that time.  Mrs. Hopewell seemed to think that it was silly that Joy enjoyed going to school.  In fact, it looks like Mrs. Hopewell would have rather had Joy go to school and party than actually get an education!  Now how many of your parents (or whoever is paying for your education) would say to you, "You know what?  I just want you to go to school to 'have a good time'.  Don't take your education seriously.  It is better to be flirtatious than knowledgable." 

 Well, I know my parents would flip.

This society values marriage over education.  It is more important to be known as a Mrs. than a Dr.  They are all about titles, oh yes, but there better be land and money and other property to back them up.  If you marry a rich man, you'll have all three of those things.  If you go to school for your Ph.D....well, you may not have any of those things.   

It is very interesting to look at the recurring themes in Flannery O'Connor's work.  I feel like all the characters in these stories are neighbors to each other and they all have the same values and qualities.  This collection makes me feel like I am peeking into http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL150/2008/oconnor_good_country_people.php#comments.  

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