Reap What You Sow

Length: 2 Pages 531 Words

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 Continue...


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, opens her hardened exterior to someone like Manley is an irony within itself. in Philosophy, she is woefully ignorant of human nature. There are several old cliches that appropriately support O'Connor's theme and describes Joy's (Hulga's) deflated ego: we reap what we sow; what goes around comes around; and treat other people the same way you would want to be treated. 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 mask his real intentions to manipulate and exploit Joy's (Hulga's) vulnerability. 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. Thus, we find that the author's use of symbolism, irony, and unique character depictions contribute to the ultimate climax and theme of the story that there are no "good country people. 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. 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. Hopewell saw the two of them walk off together, toward the gate.

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