How did Flannery O'Connor's life and beliefs influence her writings in "Good Country People?"
Flannery O'Connor is an American author whose writings were heavily influenced by her life and beliefs. O'Connor was a devout Catholic who expressed the tenets of her faith through many of her writings, including "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Good Country People."
Flannery O'Connor's Life
O'Connor was raised in Savannah, Georgia until her family relocated to Milledgeville, Georgia when she was a teenager. She grew up in a well-known Roman Catholic family and remained Catholic throughout her life. Her father suffered from a serious medical condition that led to the family having to leave their home for his wife's small, rural hometown. These experiences, coupled with her own medical issues, led O'Connor to focus her work on themes of alienation, man's relationship with God, and salvation.
"Good Country People"
"Good Country People" is one of Flannery O'Connor's better known short stories and it not only exemplifies her mastery of form but her personal worldview as well. This story is set in the rural South and focuses on themes of religious corruption and human goodness. The story truly begins with a Bible salesman who cons the main character by stealing her prosthetic leg and leaving her trapped in a loft. The salesman preys upon Hulga's pride in her own intelligence and uses it against her. After he seduces Hulga and steals her prosthetic, she is left humbled and wiser about the world, if deeply humiliated. Through this story, O'Connor expresses both the Southern and Catholic identities that can be found throughout her body of work.