Good Country People_Ana Shea Jeanette

By: Ana Rojas-Labra, Monshea Murray, and Jeanette Ramirez
Author’s Background
◦ Flannery O’Connor
◦ Born: March 25, 1925
◦ Death: August 03, 1964
◦ Born in Savannah, Georgia.
◦ Graduated from University of Iowa.
◦ She was diagnosed with lupus, a disease that killed her
father when she was young.
◦ Her stories shared similar themes such as good vs. evil,
religion, violence, etc.
Author’s Other Works
◦ “The Geranium” – 1946: This story is about a man who moved to NYC at the request of
his daughter. The family is from the south and the old man still holds on to his southern
◦ “Wise Blood” – 1952: This story is about a man who lives in Tennessee and after coming
home from the army, he decides he no longer wants to be a preacher because his
opinion of Jesus has changed.
◦ “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” – 1955: This story is about a family going on a road trip
and on the way they take a wrong turn. They flip the car into a ditch and are found by
a serial killer who takes them one by one into the woods and kills them all.
◦ “Mystery and Manners” – 1969: This was mainly just a book of unpublished essays she
left behind following her death.
This story by Flannery O’Connor was a well-written short story about a girl names
Joy/Hulga. Joy is an atheist who is thirty-two years old and still lives with her mother, Mrs.
Hopewell. The Freemans are a couple of good country people that live with/work for Mrs.
One day while they are about to have their dinner, a young bible salesman by
the name of Manley Pointer comes to the house. He tells Mrs. Hopewell, “I don’t want to
go to college. I want to devote my life to Christian Service. See, I got this heart condition.
I may not live long.” After he tells her this she thinks of Joy and of her condition and then
that leads to her meeting him. They talked the day they met and then decided to meet
by the gate another day. When they meet up, he makes her feel special and they wind
up kissing. They seduce one another and he ends up convincing her to take her artificial
leg off. Everything becomes revealed and she learned that she had fallen into a trick
when he runs off with her leg.
◦ A sort of slavery was acceptable within the time of this story.
Main Characters
She lived with her mom and
changed her name to
Hulga because she felt like it
fit her better. She had an
artificial leg and a Ph. D in
Mrs. Hopewell
She was Joy’s mom. They
didn’t get along because
they didn’t have the same
Manley Pointer
He was the bible salesman.
He created schemes to
steal a special object from
all his victims.
Point of View
◦ Third-person omniscient
◦ The author is the narrator of the story.
◦ He describes the thoughts and feelings of all the main characters.
◦ It is also in major character perspective.
◦ The story is subjective, since it is based on her personal views and is not fact-based.
Plot Structure
◦ Exposition  First two paragraphs introduce two of the three main characters, Mrs. Hopewell
and Joy.
◦ Narrative Hook  When you find out Joy had an artificial leg and her mom still took care of
her even though she was grown.
-Conflict: Her and her mom argued whenever they were alone together because
they didn’t agree on anything.
-Conflict: Even though Joy had a Ph. D and was a very smart woman, her mother was
still not proud of her.
-Conflict: Mrs. Hopewell always talked about other girls in front of Joy which
continued to lower her self-esteem.
◦ Climax  When Pointer gets her to take her leg off.
◦ Falling Action  When he confesses and runs away with her leg.
◦ Resolution  “Some can’t be that simple, I know I never could.”
◦ “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – This is a main theme in the story and can be used
for any of the characters. This theme, for example, would suit Manley Pointer. When he
first arrived at the Hopewell house, he was a nice looking guy simply looking to sell
bibles. As the story goes on he is still a nice guy that seemed to like Joy until he showed
his true colors. Then the reader noticed that instead of being a good, Christian boy he
was a manipulator and stole from his victims.
Significant Quotes
◦ “Nothing is perfect” – Mrs. Hopewell: This fits with her style because in all of her stories,
she always has a flawed character or theme. This story is ironic.
◦ “It takes all kinds to make the world” – Mrs. Hopewell: This says that different people are
what make up an interesting world or story. (Manley Pointer or Joy/Hulga)
◦ “We won’t need the Bible” – Joy: This expresses her atheism. It showed how her beliefs
were different.
Special Topics
◦ Irony: The story as a whole is ironic. The tenant farmer was named Mrs. “Free”man. The
bible salesman RAN away with the LEG. Also the fact that he was a bible salesman and
a thief. Joy wasn’t a joyful person, instead she was very depressed.
◦ Good vs. Evil: Each character had a duplicate personality mirrored in the story. Each
action had an opposing force, whether positive or negative. (For example Joy had
finally found someone to love and then he ran away with her leg.)

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