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What is the significance of the title "Good Country People"?

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laypheng | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 24, 2008 at 3:16 AM via web

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What is the significance of the title "Good Country People"?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 24, 2008 at 11:30 AM (Answer #1)

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The significance of the title "Good Country runs throughout the story. The title appears all through the story.  Yet, each character has faults that demonstrate they are not “good country people.”  They are simply people with the same sins and faults as all other people. Mrs. Hopewell is a simple woman. “Her name suggests that she prefers to think the best of people and situations, but this is undermined by her pride in being “good country people” and not “trash.” However, she can’t even tell between good and bad, as is indicated by her warm acceptance of Manley Pointer when he says he is “just a country boy” and greets her with “hope all is well.’”  Mrs. Freeman is a woman who is not free.  She works for Mrs. Hopewell and they often spend their time gossiping .  Mrs. Freeman is described by Hopewell as “not trash” but “good country people.”   Her daughters also “the finest girls on earth” are described as one being pretty with a lot of admirers and the younger one being 15 and pregnant.  Hulga is angry, rude and self absorbed.  She considers herself to be better than the “good country people,” but in the end realizes that she isn’t as smart as she thinks she is. The main idea of the title is best expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas and other theologians believed “that evil has no being, and that evil always appears as a good to the one who commits it, even if they are “good country people.”

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