ALiterary Essay on GoodCountry People
Thestory has its setting on a tenant farm in Georgia. Mrs. Hopewell is afarm owner and Mrs. Freeman works there and therefore, enters Mrs.Hopewell’s house through the kitchen door. Mrs. Hopewell aftergetting up in the morning heads to the kitchen to gossip with Mrs.Freeman. Mrs. Freeman has two daughters Glynese, 18 years old, andCarramae, 15 years old married and pregnant. Mrs. Hopewell is adivorcee and mother to Hulga, a 32-year-old with a wooden leg and aPh.D. Manley on the other hand sales Bibles from door-to-door(O`Connor 2).As the story progresses, three views of religion battle and no clearwinner is found. They include the hypocrite, the sinful Christian,and the atheist.
Manleyis portrayed as the representative of good country people. He sellsBibles and goes around to help the people get the good book to theirhomes and also make himself some money. With Hulga in the barn attic,his real character comes out as a deceiver. He pulls out his corruptaccoutrements hidden in a Bible which shocked Hulga. He is thehypocrite who pretends to be a Christian but aims to scam and hurtpeople(Locke 55).With his mouth set in anger he tells Hulga that he does not believein the Bible but merely sold it. To humiliate Hulga more, he stealsher prosthetic leg and glasses and adds them to his pervertedcollection. He further tells Hulga that she was not as smart as shethought as she felt superior to him. He, therefore, represents theevil aspect of man.
Mrs.Hopewell flaunts her religion so as to judge people as respectableand decent. Though a sinner, she tries to use her Christianity as acover up. Hopewell tells Manley that she does not think there areenough good country people in the world, and that is the start of allproblems. She claims that she could not see honest people unless onewent out of the country. The judgement made about Manley is wrongbecause he is a liar. From the name Hopewell, the mother’scharacter is identified as assuming(Beckson 34).She does not realize that the world is a blend of evil and good.Therefore, she assumes the world is simpler than it is. She sins bythinking that since she is a Christian she can make judgementsconcerning people.
Thelife of Hulga begins in pain with a gun accident that blew off thebottom of her leg. The incidence separated her from both the societyand her family and devoted her time to earn degrees till she held aPh.D. in philosophy. She has declared total atheism there is noafterlife and god, and that life ends at death. O’Connor (87) gavethe fact the Ph.D. is physically as well as spiritually crippled dueto the use of the wooden leg by Hulga. As such, Manley’s commentthat her leg makes her different leads to the failure of Hulga’splan as she lastly called for the Christian moment of grace. Herphilosophical attitude, however, did not allow her to admit this. It,therefore, implies that atheism is not a reality.
Inconclusion, the Society of Good Country People has many issuespertaining religion, and the individuals here are in constant battleswithout a clear winner. It is characterized with hypocrites likeManley who pose to be good, but their real intention is to harmpeople. Sinful Christians like Mrs. Hopewell who is good at judgingpeople are also present. Finally, it comprises of atheists led byHugla who does not believe in god and life after death because of herphilosophical approach to issues.
Beckson,Karl E. TheReligion of Art.New York: AMS Press, 2014. Print.
Locke,John. PhilosophicalWorks.Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 2013. Print.
O`Connor,Flannery. GoodCountry People.2011. Print.