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I believe the main theme in Flannery O'Connors's short story, Good Country People is approval; everyone wants to believe that they are beautiful and we seek approval from both our parents and friends.

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Introduction

Good Country People I believe the main theme in Flannery O'Connors's short story, " Good Country People" is approval; everyone wants to believe that they are beautiful and we seek approval from both our parents and friends. In this short story a girl, Joy, longs for her mothers approval. After she is unable to get her mothers approval Joy starts believing that she is unworthy of anyone's admiration. Joy is thirty-two years of age and has a wooden leg, which makes it even harder for her to be socially accepted. Joy's wooden leg represents the on going theme of approval in O'Connor's story. Joy changes her name to Hulga which Mrs.Hopewell feels is one of the ugliest names she could have chosen. This could be interpreted as a representation of how Joy "Hulga" feels about herself. I do not want to say that I do not have any beliefs, honestly I don't know what it is that I believe in. ...read more.

Middle

Ultimately, the deception of portrayal and deceiving has been seen to symbolize the devil. Pointer starts his deceiving by coming off as to good to be true and overly friendly; all in all a true christian. " 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," (O'Connor, 290). Manley finally comes clean to Hulga and admits that he is not really who he says he is and that he is not a christian. Manly had beaten the Hulga, a woman who believed that he was such an innocent man and not much else, began to believe in the man he was and who they could be together. Hulga had "decided that for the first time in her life she was face to face with real innocence". ...read more.

Conclusion

Joy uses her education as a way of having wisdom and avoiding a belief in any type of religion. Manly is a symbol of deception and control, he takes every situation and manipulates it to his advantage. The characters in this short story portray many people that I associate with in real life. From Mrs. Hopewell who always sees the good things in everybody and does whatever she can to help people out. And Manly, who is like almost every male in this world; in it only for the benefit of himself and in the end hes only going to do something if it benefits him in the end. Then there is Hulga, who is very conscious of the people around her and she also lacks confidence. She lives a very timid life and is afraid to live her own life, shes to worried about what someone is going to say to her. This short story is a very good deception of everyday life and challenges that people are faced with daily. It also contains many different symbols and opened my eyes to the meaning of faith. Brewer 3 ...read more.

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