Writing of explicitly named Good State Peoples, short narrative writer Flannery O’Connor ironically molds a word picture of the contradictory nature of a cliche-ridden Southern society. The “ good state people ” O’Connor speaks of are Mrs. Hopewell, her girl Hulga Hopewell, servant Mrs. Freeman, and bible salesman Manly Pointer, each character representative of a alone means for seeking to accommodate the conflicting outlooks of life in the American South. Crafting an overall tone of sarcasm and irony through the usage a third-person all-knowing point of position, the writer demands the reader see the prevalence of false visual aspects even in the most supposedly pure parts of society. O’Connor particularly focuses on the false congratulations society bestows upon intelligence: Hulga, a adult female with a Ph.D. in doctrine, is ridiculed for her intelligence and finally led to oppugn it. Indeed, O’Connor ‘s usage of repeat in the thought of “ good state people ” causes one to both see why “ good ” people are so systematically valued across a broad scope of communities and what qualities determine “ good. ”
O’Connor ‘s expounding of a society which values a good, moral individual yet struggles to place such Begins with her actual naming of each character ‘s purpose. By calling the characters with names which practically expose their attack to and intending in society at big, the writer denotes that their motivations are every bit obvious as if they were written into their being. Basically she seems to be reasoning that the frontages which each individual has constructed should be more easy dissolved, if merely society was more perceptive. Hulga and her female parent possess the last name “ Hopewell, ” a word signer of the manner in which they each “ hope ” that their attack to the universe will steer them “ good. ” Each of these two adult females believe that they possess the secret to populating in such a manner that is most moral and will forestall them from subsuming to the fraudulence of others. In a alone signifier of character foil, female parent and girl act as their ain antonyms. Hulga ‘s method of ego protection is her insisting on the “ enlightenment ” thought that all which truly exists is the surface universe. Her female parent contrastingly indulges in the temptingness of platitudes, leting them to work as an “ look ” of her truth. The utmost point of views of the adult females are exaggerated by the fact that they exist in such close relationship to each other and are birthed of a similar background.
Symbolism farther exists in the pick of names for the bible salesman and Mrs. Hopewell ‘s retainer. Offering the name Manley Pointer as a false individuality, the bible salesman personifies a “ manfully, ” sexually and egotistically goaded human being, one literally willing to take parts from others. This socially unacceptable behaviour “ points ” to what the writer thinks would be the ruin of society if archetypal “ manfully ” inherent aptitudes were to predominate. The dishonesty portrayed by Pointer besides directs one towards the clear world instinctually understood by the competently named Mrs. Freeman. Seemingly “ free ” of the platitudes and stereotypes which so weigh down the other characters, the writer establishes Mrs. Freeman as a dependable beginning of truth. And this evident truth is, in O’Connor ‘s Southern society, the ability to accept morbid and monstrous facets of life.
The writer ‘s usage of symbolism is most evident in her physical word picture of Hulga Hopewell. Born Joy, the miss changed her name about the same clip she alienated herself from the manner of life which so defined in female parent. In blazing resistance to her female parent ‘s ideals, Hulga pursues an instruction, one that is advanced in comparing to the instruction of most adult females even by today ‘s criterions. A doctrine major, Hulga clings to her intelligence as a shield against the universe which has ever been excessively rough to her. Unlike the female parent before her, who enshrines herself in a self-seeking universe of semblance, Hulga believes her philosophical attack to life is tenable or at the really least the consequence of a strong instruction. Hulga ‘s uniqueness in society is accentuated by the being of those around her: a weak-minded female parent and a shrewd hired adult females represent two qualities opposite her and in making so expose her fallibilities.
The actual symbol of Hulga ‘s intelligence is the wooden leg which supports her, both physically and mentally. Hulga has ever felt that is was her wooden leg which “ makes her different. ” Towards the terminal of the short narrative, as bible salesman Manley Pointer asks to take her leg, a move which would be extremely emotional for most halt people. Alternatively, for Hulga, the determination is one of rational deductions: she grounds as to why she should take her leg, finally make up one’s minding to “ give up ” it to him. In this sense, Hulga apparently wittingly sacrifices her intelligence for a yet unknown kingdom of emotional experiences. By taking her wooden leg, Hulga is taking the portion of her psyche and ego that is every bit as wooden, stiff, and contingent upon her instruction. In this manner, the Ph.D. grade Hulga hoped would take her from the fortunes environing her female parent besides represents the fact that she is spiritually every bit good as psychically crippled.
Hulga ‘s emotional crippling is later revealed to her ain ego by a most delusory of beginnings, the bible salesman himself. After the bible salesman removes her wooden leg, it becomes clear he does non mean to return it to her and alternatively programs to steal it, as he claims he has done with other organic structure parts such as a adult females ‘s “ glass oculus. ” Angered at the thought of being left without her wooden leg and her symbolic “ intelligence, ” Hulga so yells at Pointer, accusing, “ You ‘re a all right Christian! You ‘re merely like them all- say one thing and make another. ” In this commentary, Hulga supposes an air of assurance, asseverating that she has exposed Pointer and all his fellow Christians for the true frauds they are. Pointer ‘s remark in response, nevertheless, destroys any leftover of intelligence Hulga believed she had: he reveals that he is non even a Christian nor does he even hardly believe in the message the Bibles he sold espoused. The realisation that she has been fooled by a lesser adult male, a supposed “ state common people, ” strips Hulga of her last leftover shred of resourcefulness. Missing her intelligence, a leg merely every bit of import to her personality as her existent prosthetic is to her physical ego, Hulga is unable to go on in life with the simplified, philosophical “ belief in nil ” that has therefore far sustained her.
Parallely, Hulga ‘s female parent Mrs. Hopewell seems on the brink of a realisation, as evidenced by the writer ‘s pick of enunciation and character contrast. Sing the bible salesman walking off from her belongings, unknowing that he has with him her girl ‘s wooden leg, Mrs. Hopewell comments to her hired assist how “ simple ” Arrow is. She goes so far as to surmise that the universe would so be a better topographic point if “ we were all that simple. ” The world of Pointer ‘s character has already been revealed to the reader by the usage of a 3rd individual point of position. Therefore, Mrs. Hopewell ‘s analysis of Pointer is likewise wrong, as was her girl ‘s analysis of him as a delusory Christian. Further exemplifying the inability of either of the Hopewells to bring forth an accurate apprehension of Pointer is Mrs. Freeman ‘s expert ability to make so. Recognizing that “ some ca n’t be ” the type of “ simple ” Mrs. Hopewell has eluded to, Mrs. Freeman serves as the writer ‘s voice of ground. Southern society by and large prizes wealth and position as most of import values. In this traditional sense, Mrs. Hopewell would surely be considered Mrs. Freeman ‘s higher-up. However, Mrs. Freeman is a symbol for the disturbance of the typical category system, uncovering her ain rational art. It appears Mrs. Hopewell will hold to accommodate the assurance she has in her ability to cut down life to a set of platitude dictums and her ability to command Mrs. Freeman in visible radiation of these disclosures. Like her ain girl, she will hold to confront up to the world of her life procedure ‘ defects and, in making so, disavow her current system of beliefs.
The writer ‘s ain spiritual allusions throughout the text themselves disavow the typical Southern belief in faith as a guiding visible radiation. Indeed, the really fact that the Bibles are sold by adult male who true does n’t believe in them calls the reader to oppugn the veracity of spiritual association as a beginning of ethos. Pointer ‘s Bible was literally filled with intoxicant, preventives, and other points which are banned by the bible itself. This contradictory state of affairs reveals the writer ‘s evident belief that the Hagiographas of the bible are incongruous and incorporate more common reprieves than the clergy would wish one to believe.
By exposing the spiritual defects of Southern society, O’Connor has illustrated a larger point: beliefs are merely every bit strong as the individual who holds them and merely every bit existent as the individual willing to confront them. Mrs. Hopewell and Hulga each independently, yet paralleled, battle to confront the world that their schemes for covering with life are unequal because they are self-deceptive. O’Connor allows the reader to see this cognitive disagreement by usage of the 3rd individual point of position, demoing that what is clear to the reader should be, but is non, clear to the individual. In comparing, the defects and contradictions are so evident in Southern society that O’Connor feels they should be easy seen yet struggles to understand why they are presently non.