Why does Manley Pointer refer to Christians as Chrustians in "Good Country People"?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Initially, we believe as readers, as do Hulga and Mrs. Hopewell, that Manley Pointer says "Chrustian" because he is a simply an ignorant country hick who has been taught to pronounce it that way.

It is only at the end of the story that we might go back and wonder if he isn't deliberately mocking Mrs. Hopewell in using the term "Chrustian." By the story's end, we have learned, to our surprise, that Manley is anything but a Christian. He is a Bible-selling con artist who drinks, steals, and has illicit sex.

The only person who ever actually uses the word Christian in the story is Hulga, who "hisses" the term at Manley three times to mean he is a hypocrite when he pushes her false leg away from her.

At that point, Manley says to her:

I hope you...

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