Irony In Flannery O 'Connor's Bad Country Animals'

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Taylor Maddox ENGL 1102 September 22, 2009 Analysis Paper "Bad Country Animals" In Flannery O’Connor’s“Good Country People” the most prevalent literary device is irony. Through the use of verbal irony the truth of the characters’ real situation is revealed. The irony of the circumstances is unveiled through the characters’ names. The irony shows the contradiction of the characters’ names and their realities. “Good Country People” is a short story about widow and farm owner Mrs. Hopewell and the people in her daily life. Mrs. Freeman, mother of two, is her farm tenant. Mrs. Hopewell’s daughter is Joy. Joy is a very intelligent yet miserable soul. When Joy was ten years old…show more content…
When she is only ten, she loses her leg and is given an ugly wooden leg as a replacement. Joy tries then to live a fulfilling life by getting a Ph.D. in philosophy in hopes of working at a “university lecturing to people who knew what she was talking about” (250). This dream shatters when the doctors tell Joy, “that with the best of care, Joy might see forty-five. She had a weak heart. Joy had made it plain that if it had not been for this condition, she would be far from these red hills and country people” (250). Joy lets the doctor’s news of her illness strip her of any dream of leaving the place she hates, thus causing her more…show more content…
Joy not aware of the contents of the Bible asks Manley, “Why did you bring your Bibles?” (255). He then deceivingly replies,” you can never tell when you need the word of God” (255). On top of being a complete phoney he has the audacity to pretend to a be christian Bible salesman when he has no religious values. Although Joy is very intelligent she is tricked by Manley because she has no education in life. She believes she is smarter than Manley. She subconsciously believes she is too smart to ever be conned. In reality Manley tricks Joy. In the end, Manley steals Joy’s leg, leaving her hopeless in the barn. This act proves that Manley will never be a real man and that Joy will never be happy or hopeful. In due course, the sardonic names of the characters reveal their truth. By revealing the truth through this grotesque story, O’Connor was also able to unveil life pertinent advice. Once you become a slave to your own thoughts and pride you become hopeless. In order to live life to the fullest one must keep an open, watchful

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