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Reap What You Sow

O’Connor also uses irony to contribute to the story’s plot and convey its overall theme. The first and most obvious use of irony in this short story is the title, “Good Country People.” She uses this title to describe and express the way society was and how people during that period were perceived. If you were of a particular upbringing you were considered “good country people.” Another example of the author’s use of irony is through the character of Manley Pointer, a traveling bible salesman. His occupation alone gives the reader the impression he is a good honest country boy. The irony of this example is revealed through his encounter with Joy when he exhibits a personality totally opposite of a Christian bible salesman. The fact that Joy, with her atheist beliefs, opens her hardened exterior to someone like Manley is an irony within itself.—“Then to her amazement, Mrs. Hopewell saw the two of them walk off together, toward the gate. Joy had walked all the way to the gate with him and Mrs. Hopewell could not imagine what they had said to each other and she had not yet dared to ask.” This particular irony is unexpected and astonishes the reader because Joy has never let anyone get close to her, including her own mother. Flannery O’Connor’s intricate depictions of her story’s characters contribute immensely to the ultimate plot and theme. In creating the main character, Joy, the author gives the reader a prime example of misguided intellectualism. Although Joy has a Ph.D. in Philosophy, she is woefully ignorant of human nature. Her educational achievements make her fell superior to those who are considered “good country people,” and this feeling of superiority sets up her own victimization in the end. Another example of O’Connor’s unique character depiction used to develop the plot and theme is her description of Manley Pointer as the bible salesman’s good old country boy demeanor to ...

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Reap What You Sow. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 12:54, October 24, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/18625.html