In “Good Country People” explain what in the final ten lines adds to the story as a whole.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The last ten lines find Mrs. Hopewell with whom she thinks is her friend, Mrs. Freeman; they are pulling up wild onions that Mrs. Freeman finds "evil-smelling." As Mrs. Hopewell notices Manley Pointer cutting across a field to the highway, she remarks upon that "nice dull young man" who was "so simple," adding with dramatic irony that, perhaps, "the world would be better off if we were all that simple." But, Mrs. Freeman merely gazes at him, then returns to the foul-smelling onion shoot, saying that not all "can be that simple.... I know I never could."

In a further irony at the end, Mrs. Freeman links herself further to Manley Pointer. For, not only does she have beady, steel-pointed eyes, relish deformities, and have a fascination with Hulga's leg as does Manley, Mrs. Freeman knows well that acting simple is a facade for hiding evil intentions: "Some can't be that simple....I know I never could." Mrs. Freeman means that she would never fall prey to the machinations of others, while, perhaps, suggesting that she may be the one to take advantage of Mrs. Hopewell and Hulga next.

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