Good just might not be good enough, especially them wily country folk!

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"Her voice when she spoke hand an almost pleading sound. 'Aren't you,' she murmured, 'aren't you just good country people?'...'Yeah,' he said, curling his lip slightly, 'but it ain't held me back none. I'm as good as you any day in the week.'" (O'Connor, GCP, pg. 193)

This seems to be a recurring theme: Good versus Evil, or some representation of the two. Hulga/Joy is presented in a greatly unflattering manner while the young man, Manley Pointer, is seen in the light as an honest (albeit poor) salesman. However, not everything is as it seems, one constant that can be seen throughout several of O'Connor's works. It's obvious from the line above that Pointer's conscience isn't a very strong one nor does he feel overly remorseful in any way for the items that he's stolen from women.

Hulga/Joy goes on to shout at Pointer that he's a fine Christian when she herself professed as an atheist and himself a devout Bible salesman. I mean, if you're out there selling Bibles, it'd be a good bet that you at least have a greater faith than some others, right? However, Pointer replies, "I hope you don't think,' he said in a lofty indignant tone, 'that I believe in that crap! I may sell Bibles but I know which end is up and I wasn't born yesterday and I know where I'm going!" (pg. 193) So basically, he knows right from wrong...he merely chooses to do the wrong. Well, at least someone knows exactly what they want; seems as if Hulga/Joy doesn't know what she really believes despite her spouting of philosophy.

Anyone up for a jump out the barn? Just a simple press and you'll land in a bale a hay...GO!

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Erica Gearhart said:

Great points Maddie. O'Connor constantly compares good and evil. It is really interesting that you point out that their personalities at the beginning of the story and at the end of the story are completely opposed to one another. Also, I never thought of the fact that Pointer chooses to be a bad person, but now that you mentioned it, it seems as though he does make the choice to be bad. I think that this can be related to how the Misfit in Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find"-he also knows the difference between good and evil, yet he chooses the later. Thanks for the insight Maddie!

The more I read O'Connor's stories, the more I pick up on these themes and the values of southern society at that time. It's great to have a collection like these short stories because we can see the repetition more easily than if they were just separate books. This is one of my favorite stories in the collection (I ended up reading this book during Christmas vacation) just because it is so shocking to me. I mean, with O'Connor you have to expect a twisted ending, but I definitely did not expect this.
Great analysis, Maddie!

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on March 12, 2008 4:25 PM.

You see Black, you see White...I see only Gray and the eternal fight. was the previous entry in this blog.

Voices for me and foil for least mine serves better conversation! is the next entry in this blog.

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