The story opens in Mrs. Hopewell’s kitchen, which Mrs. Freeman visits every morning to talk about her daughters or other common topics. The women think of themselves as “good country people,” valuing what they consider honest, Christian sincerity in others. Joy, Mrs. Hopewell’s daughter, is an atheist, nihilist, and intellectual snob and considers the two women banal to the extreme. She demonstrates her contempt with their chatter and their lives by making more noise with her wooden leg than necessary as she walks around the kitchen.
One day, a salesman carrying a heavy suitcase of Bibles comes to Mrs. Hopewell’s door. His name is Manley Pointer. Although she has no intention of buying a Bible because Joy will...
(The entire section is 857 words.)