In the story "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Conner, which characters are heroic or admirable?

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ddelrie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think any of the characters in "Good Country People" are heroic. Mrs. Hopewell is delusional and relies on broad stereotypes to divide people into categories. She decides Manley is "good country people" and is blind to the danger he poses to her daughter. Hulga assumes her advanced degree places her above everyone else, and she assumes she has the upper hand in any interaction with "good country people." Manley is a liar and a psychopath. None of these characters exhibit anything approaching heroic qualities.

However, I do feel O'Connor sees Manley as admirable. Like the character of the Misfit in "A Good Man is Hard to Find," he is wholly himself. He understands himself and his place in the world though he is evil. O'Connor often uses this technique of taking an almost demonic figure and using him to force a group of supposedly virtuous people out of their complacency. I think she finds his honesty with himself admirable, certainly more admirable than the delusional figures of Mrs. Hopewell and Hulga.

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Good Country People

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