Many authors use irony in their story for different reasons. In the story “Good Country People,” by Flannery O’Connor irony is shown throughout the story. Irony is shown in the characters names, Hugla thinking that she is going to change Manley Pointer view of life, and the incorrect usage of the bible in the story. The author used irony to add a twist to the story and to reinforce the theme that not everything is as it initially appears.
Mrs. Hopewell’s name fits her character perfectly. Mrs. Hopewell is a very optimistic person, and is always hoping the best for everyone. Mrs. Hopewell has some quotes she would say, like “Nothing is perfect” or “that’s life” (citation???). She says these quotes to cheer up people and keep their spirits high. She is always looking at the bright side of things and good in people. She knows that everyone has their flaws but that nobody is perfect, and that’s what makes people unique.
Joy/Hugla Hopewell name is also ironic. It is ironic because she is neither joyful nor hopeful.
When she became twenty When the Hopewell’ first meet Manley Pointer, they think he is a good Christian who is just trying to sell bibles. Hugla thinks she is going to take advantage of manely pointer. Her plan is to change his way of thinking and turn him into an atheist. The night before their date, she fantasizes about seducing him, and “She imagined that she took his remorse in hand changed it into a deeper understanding of life” – and understanding that there is no God, so there is no need for remorse (citation?). Hugla doesn’t know it, but Manly Pointer is actually a con man, and she is the one getting played. Manley Pointer ends up having the last laugh and robs Hugla of her artificial leg.
The way the bible is used is also ironic in this story. The bible usually is used for good or to spread the word of God, but in this story it is used to hide evil. Manley Pointer used the bible he had in his suitcase to hide his whiskey, his box of cards, and a box of condoms. As stated in the book “It was hollow and contained a pocket flask of whiskey, a pack of cards, and a small blue box with printing on it” mainly pointer had no intention in selling bibles. His intentions were to rob Hugla and seduce her. The author’s use of irony with the bible is saying one cannot judge a book by its cover.
Throughout the story, signs of irony appear as the reader continues to read. Mrs. Hopewell’s name is the first ironic sign I notice. Her name was not the only ironic name but it was the most noticeable one. Hugla thought she was smarter than everyone since she had a P.H.D, but that the end of the story she is the made a fool and robbed by Manley Pointer. The bible in Manley pointer suitcase was used to hide sinful objects. The authors used these sign of irony, plus more to add a twist to the story and add further meaning.