Good Country People Questions and Answers
by Flannery O’Connor

Good Country People book cover
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What makes the title "Good Country People" ironic?

The title “Good Country People” is ironic because both of the characters to which Mrs. Hopewell applies this epithet aren’t really good country people at all. Manley Pointer is a womanizer and a thief, and Mrs. Freeman isn’t the simple, kind-hearted soul Mrs. Hopewell takes her for.

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"Good country people" is a phrase that is echoed several times throughout this short story, and the connotation is that "country people" are honest, hardworking, and genuine souls who are in high demand and short supply. Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman hold these "country people" in high regard, though the implication is that they also don't have much financially.

When Manley Pointer arrives, he quickly evaluates Mrs. Hopewell's character, and when she tries to send him away, he uses what he knows must be her own stereotypes against her:

"I'll tell you the truth – not many people want to buy one nowadays and besides, I know I'm real simple. I don't know how to say a thing but to say it. I'm just a country boy." He glanced up into her unfriendly face. "People like you don't like to fool with country people like me!"

This works. He both convinces Mrs. Hopewell of his "honest" character and gains entrance into her home. She replies,

"Why! ... good country people are the salt of the earth!"

Mrs....

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 970 words.)

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