“Mama says, Stupid is as stupid does” (quotes/movie/Forrest+Gump). Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People” a short story with a pointed plot of good vs. evil. The story is deliciously written to create irony and bring awareness to physical and mental disabilities that sometimes masks as our identity. The story is divided among four characters. The symbolism of the chosen names given to each character is important in understanding the personalities of each character and their relationship with one another. The story is about a woman Joy/Hulga (protagonist/self-antagonist) who lost her leg at age ten and is now 32 years old and has a wooden leg and a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Joy/Hulga thinks country people are simply, dumb and stupid. She despises the other characters in the story for these reasons. Joy/Hulga has no experience with men. Joy/Hula through her studies believes in “Nothing”, she is an Atheist. She meets a traveling Bible salesman by the name of Manly Pointer who identifies with being a country boy. Joy/Hulga agrees to secretly meet with Manly the next day. Once again Joy believes her intellect is superior to country people and she plans to seduce Manly. The tables are tuned on her and Manly exposes Joy/Hulga’s intellect as pseudo –intellect, and that she does believe in something, her education and her wooden leg. Manly, delivers a “Rude Awaking” she is not so smart and that she knows little about life. He takes her wooden leg and leaves her enlighten.
Happiness Can Wait
“Eveline” (protagonist) is a story about a woman who is at a crossroad in her life. The conflict is should she leave her safe, boring, and predictable life or take chance on a new adventure and happiness. As Eveline sits at her window and takes a stroll down memory lane, from childhood to adolescent to adult, when times were easier and happier and her mother was alive. She made a promise to her dying mother (antagonist) that she would keep the family together. After her mother’s death, her father became abusive, finances were difficult to manage, friends had moved away. She meet a man name Frank who wanted to marry her and take her away from Dublin, Ireland the only life she knows and possibly give her a chance at happiness.