The Simple Truth

Essay by arynusherCollege, UndergraduateA-, February 2013

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"A Good Man is Hard to Find,"

"Good Country People"

The Simple Truth

Religion, although commonly referred to as the source of salvation, is most often recognized as a form of hypocrisy. Many people place high expectations on the followers of religion, most notably, followers of Christianity. The expectation of Christian behavior is that of compassion, generosity and innocence. Sadly, these standards are rarely achieved. In the short stories, "Good Country People" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find," by Flannery O'Connor, the controversial topic of religion arises. Each story's theme identifies hypocrisy within religion through a different perspective: one through the search for identity and the other through the temptations of the world.

The topic of religion is relative to many people because of its multiple aspects, one of which being the search for personal identity. In "Good Country People," the search for identity is a profound struggle for Hulga.

It is most apparent in her relationship with Mrs. Hopewell, her mother. Mrs. Hopewell claims that "nothing is perfect" (173) and because of this fact, she is able to see the best in everyone. Unfortunately, she sees the best in everyone except her own daughter. This negative opinion results in Hulga's defiant decision to change her name to what Mrs. Hopewell considers the "ugliest name in any language" (174). Changing her name has a much further impact than simply altering what people call her. Although the struggle for identity is most apparent in the mother-daughter quarrel, the way Hulga views herself is shown through the name change as well. A name means much more than simply the title you're given at birth. A name in itself has meaning and purpose. For Hulga to choose a name based off...