"Woman, Do You Ever Look Inside?"
There are many themes within Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People".
Religion is definitely one of the more prominent themes that the story holds. Like most
of O'Connor's works, it plays a big part in the actions or characteristics of the main
characters. This is all on the surface however. The more important and less accentuated
theme is the various facades the characters create for themselves. These facades prevent
them from facing their true "grotesque" selves. These facades also hide their weaknesses
that they have no wish to face ort just can't understand. People must be comfortable with
every aspect of themselves, because certain people, who in this story are represented by
Manley Pointer's character, can easily exploit their weaknesses. He's "good country
people" and "the salt of the earth" as Mrs. Hopewell refers to Manley Pointer who really
is a demon that they must face. A demon to remind them of their weaknesses.
Beginning with Mrs. Hopewell, the title of the story comes from what she likes to call
the poorer and less fortunate people that live off the land and work their whole lives
just to hang on to some scrap of a life. This is how she views these people. She believes
that they are good country people not a bad seed among them, that they are all eager to
help out and bow in humility to the upper class. The gullible nature of Mrs. Hopewell
betrays her true vision of a situation. She is one of those people who are all
goody-goody to people who they view as less fortunate. She's a person that commends or
speaks for the people she knows nothing about. Altogether this is her true weakness that
is taken advantage of by Manley Pointer. One of Mrs. Hopewell's favorite sayings, Nothing
is perfect, is seen in the very beginning of the story. Her saying was just that, a
saying. The quote acts as foreshadowing for what her attitude towards life will be. We
later find out...