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Consider this model.Remember, it is essential that you focus on the primary source (the story itself) rather than regurgitate the information from the research analysis.I. Introduction:
A. Get the reader interested with something startling, daring, or provocative.
B.Introduce the title of the story and its authorC.Introduce your topic—maybe, but not necessarily, your thesis, which could come at the end of your second paragraph in which you give background.For example: First Introductory Paragraph:Draw the reader in with a compelling opening line.Introduce the topic.Bombs, booby traps, and blood have young soldiers running for their lives: tonight’s news about the war in Iraq?It could be, or it could be one of Tim O’Brien’s stories about his service in Vietnam. From there, I would begin to turn the discussion toward my topic, making the transition to my second introductory paragraph that will narrow the discussion from a topic to my specific thesis. Second Introductory Paragraph:Define any terminology or background that will be discussed in the essay.Here, I might discuss some historical info about Vietnam, or talk about the lingering psychological effects of war.I would use my introduction to gracefully set up my thesis statement.Often the thesis statement is the last sentence of the introduction. Put the author’s name and the story title in (or near) the thesis statement.Make sure you spell the writer’s name correctly; make sure the title is in quotation marks and all words of the title are spelled correctly. Tim O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” is not really about Vietnam; it is about the effect of war—any war–on the minds of those who survive it.This will be the main point of my essay, the one I will prove with details from the story and research I’ve found.Body of the essay: Stay focused on primary source, i.e., the story or stories listed in the thesis.It’s your analysis of the work that is important.Research should be used sparingly, only in places where it can absolutely help you make a point.The essay should not be a rehash of the research analysis.The purpose of the research analysis was to make you learn more than you’ll really need to write this essay. Body paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence that define what the paragraph will be about.Each paragraph should provide specific examples from the story that support your thesis.When quoting specific phrases, follow with a citation, e.g.:(O’Connor 361). Conclusion should restate major points of the essay and close with a return to the opening statement.Example:Topic Sentence 1:O’Brien’s focus is on the way the stories are remembered and retold rather than the chronology of the events.Provide two or three specific examples from the story that prove this point.If you’ve found something perfect while doing research, gently weave it in, too. Topic Sentence 2:O’Brien uses violent and graphic imagery in the story to invoke the horror forever etched in the minds of those who’ve served in a war zone.Topic Sentence 3:O’Brien juxtaposes point of view of his first-person narrator to move between the soldier serving active duty and the writer who later attempts to tell the tales.For each of these, I would find details from the story to prove the accuracy of my stance.When needed (but only where a paraphrase wouldn’t do it justice), I might add an exact quote or quoted description to point something out.Always introduce quoted material, and don’t use a long quote when a snippet would serve the purpose. Conclusion:It’s been said that war is hell.Certainly, O’Brien makes it clear that not only the war itself is hell, but also the memory of it.(review main points).So next time the nightly news shows young soldiers struggling to survive the latest skirmish, remember the battle will not be over for them, even if they make it home alive.Notice how I’ve returned to my opening about the news in my concluding line.Remember, no more than 20% of the essay should be quoted material.Instead, the paper is the writer’s analysis of events.Be sure to include your sources on Works Cited.Also provide a page of SourcesI have attached a copy of a paper for reference of what the paper should look like.

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Richter 1
Ashlyn Richter
Dr. V. Hunt
ENC 1102
14 Nov. 2016
Southern Shower
Heat blisters the barren land encompassing tilled fields, thickets of dust haunt over the
grounds, and shadowy figures lurk like the Angel of Death. Heavy clouds park over the house.
Children are laughing and playing just off the porch. A loud crackle and roar soon follow. The
children scream as a woman in the window calls for them. Ignoring their mother’s plead, the
children remove their shoes and precede to play. The sound of stomping is different with mud in
every crevasse. Fifteen minutes of short lightening and bursts of thunder is followed by the
promised rainbow; just as the day before. A sigh of relief develops among the south as the sweet
salvation of rain has come and gone, again.
The southern United States is known for being religious. They hold certain values higher
than others. Those values determine the character of people. Southern writers tend to write about
religion because it’s highly influential in their own lives. Flannery O’Connor writes about
religion frequently, and her stories rely heavily on the southern lifestyle. In “Good Country
People,” Flannery O’Connor uses southern grotesque elements to exemplify her views of
religion and culture of the south. Southern grotesque literature is also referred to as southern
gothic literature. It focuses on grotesque themes such as bad habits, damaged or disfigured
characters, and sacrilege, among others (Kornegay).
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To began, in Flannery O’Connor’s, “Good Country People,” O’Connor uses Manley
Pointer as a catalyst to the main character’s action. Manley starts out as an innocent bible
salesman. As the story progresses, his true intentions are revealed. Manley appears as a “good
country” boy at the beginning of the story, just selling bibles to make his way through
missionary school (O’Connor 585). Mrs. Hopewell pushed for Hulga and him to meet. Hulga
thought he was nothing more than an innocent bible-thumping boy, and she decided that she was
going to seduce him and destroy his christian mission. While in the loft, in the barn, Hulga told
Manley that they weren’t going to need the bible. Manley responded with “you can never tell
when you’ll need to word of God” (O’Connor 582). Hulga then told Manley that she didn’t
believe in God. Manley’s personality then switched. He adapted to the person Hulga was
describing herself as. Manley pulled out a box of condoms, a flask of whiskey, and a deck of
playing cards with graphic images (O’Connor 585). Hulga was disgusted by this. Hulga thought
that he was this devoted christian, but in reality, he was acting. Manley had hidden intentions to
teach Hulga the meaning of God.
O’Connor uses Manley’s “dark obsessions” to prove that Hulga still believes in the
meaning of God (Kornegay). Hulga claims to being an atheist; however, she expects people to
behave in a certain way because they are a christian. Manley uses religion to mask his true
intentions of leaving Hulga humiliated and alone. Hulga experiences a moment of grace during
this time. Manley takes her eyeglasses and her wooden leg. In that moment, Hulga’s glasses
represent her blurred faith. Hulga was once a believer, but through her rough childhood and
college experiences, she had lost her way. Hulga thought she knew what was the truth, but after
her encounter in the loft with Manley, it all changed; she was left unable to see clearly. Manley
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stealing Hulga’s wooden leg represents her stability being taken away. Hulga was an intellectual.
She thought she had figured out the mystery of God. She was a firm atheist, but when Manley
took her leg away, it took away her beliefs and she started questioning her opinions. O’Connor
uses this element of grotesque in her writing because it challenges the beliefs of religion. Her
stories are loud and dramatic because it catches readers attention. It causes readers to stop and
think about something that is bigger than words on paper.
In addition, O’Connor uses disfigured characters, both mentally and physically. Joy is the
main character of this story. Joy was Hulga’s birth name. She had it changed while she was away
at college. Mrs. Hopewell still refers to her as Joy because in her mind, Hulga is still a little girl.
When Hulga was ten, she lost her leg in a hunting accident. After the incident, Mrs. Hopewell
would make excuses for Hulga as if she was pitying her. Hulga changed as a person after her
accident. Hulga had to become an intellectual because she was physically limited with one leg.
Joy was a sweet little christian girl, but as she developed into an adult, she lost those values and
became a philosopher and an atheist. O’Connor refers to her as Joy because she still believes in
that part of her; an innocent little girl. Joy still has those same values, but she buried them like a
bad memory when she changed her name. Hulga was changing who she was when she changed
her name in an effort to put the past behind her. Hulga also has a heart condition that makes her
unable to live alone. She is forced to live with her mother, which infuriates her. O’Connor felt
the same kind of frustration because O’Connor was ill and had to live with her mother.
O’Connor is reflected in Hulga.
On the other hand, Mrs. Freeman exemplifies the mentally disfigured. While Hulga is lost
in her head and is confused about who she is, Mrs. Freeman is fascinated by the deformed. Mrs.
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Freeman enjoys the misfortunes of others. O’Connor uses Mrs. Freeman as a pivotal character.
She seamlessly transitions between the drama of the the outside world through her own
daughters to the world living inside the house. Mrs. Freeman is crucial in the story because she
brings introspection to the story. Mrs. Freeman is a loud, noisy gossip with a thing for secret
pain. She along side others, all display the same notion of acting one way on the outside, but be a
different person on the inside. Manley also represents this perfectly. O’Connor is commenting on
the way southern individuals behave. They act a certain way to other, but are not what they seem.
Behind closed doors, everyone acts differently than around people. It represents the majority of
the south. Mrs. Hopewell is an another example of this. Mrs. Hopewell is a devoted christian, yet
she doesn’t even know where her bible is.
Finally, the idea of sacrilege is toyed with in “Good Country People.” Mrs. Hopewell lies
about her bible. She said it was by her bed, but she actually put it away in the attic because of her
daughter. If Mrs. Hopewell was a true christian she wouldn’t be ashamed of owning a bible.
Manley Pointer is lying about being a bible salesman. He lies to everyone about being this
religious missionary. Mrs. Freeman as a christian is suppose to respect people, but she secretly
hopes for their misfortune. Hulga was raised as a christian, but she abandoned her faith while
studying philosophy. Hulga considers herself an atheist, but she still believes in the power of the
bible and the values of good country people. Hulga believes in the meaning of the bible and is
offended when Manley opens up a hollowed out bible. O’Connor uses these scenarios to
illustrate her beliefs of religion by showing the opposite end. O’Connor was a catholic and was
highly religious. Her stories reflect her beliefs. O’Connor uses larger than life situation to show
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her christian views, and her views of southern society. People believe in this idealistic world, but
that’s just not the realistic.
In conclusion, Flannery O’Connor uses her story, “Good Country People,” to write about
her beliefs. O’Connor focuses on religion and southern values. She uses grotesque elements in
order to get her point across. O’Connor creates vivid stories with outrageous ending in order for
readers to understand her message clearly. O’Connor’s beliefs flood her writing as an afternoon
downpour floods the south on a hot summer day.
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Works Cited
Kornegay, Jamie. “The Evolution Of Southern Gothic.” The Huffington Post,, 2 June 2015,
the-evolution-of-southern-gothic_b_6987510.html. Accessed 13 Nov. 2016.
O’Connor, Flannery. “Good Country People.” ​The Norton Introduction to Literature, edited by
Kelly Mays, W. W. Norton, 2016, pp. 572-586.
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Bauer, Margaret D. “The Betrayal of Ruby Hill and Hulga Hopewell: Recognizing Feminist
Concerns in ‘A Stroke of Good Fortune’ and ‘Good Country People’.” ​Short Story
Criticism, vol. 168, 2012. ​Literature Resource Center.
Dinneen, Marcia B. “Flannery O’Connor.” ​The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives,
Thematic Series: The 1960s, 2003, ​Biography in Context.
Ditsky, John. “Good Country People: Overview.” ​Reference Guide to Short Fiction, 1994,
Literature Resource Center.
Hardy, Donald E. “Collocational Analysis as a Stylistic Discovery Procedure: the Case of
Flannery O’Connor’s Eyes.” vol. 38, no. 4, ​Style, 2004, p. 410. ​Literature Resource Center.
Kornegay, Jamie. “The Evolution Of Southern Gothic.” The Huffington Post,, 2 June 2015,
the-evolution-of-southern-gothic_b_6987510.html. Accessed 13 Nov. 2016.
“(Mary) Flannery O’Connor.” ​Contemporary Authors Online, 2004, ​Biography in Context.
O’Connor, Flannery. “Good Country People.”​ The Norton Introduction to Literature, edited by
Kelly Mays, W. W. Norton, 2016, pp. 572-586.
Sweeney, Jon M. “Grace and the Grotesque: Flannery O’Connor on the Page and on the Screen.”
America, 2009, p. 27. ​Biography in Context.
Thorburn, John. “Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Good Country People’ and the Homeric Tradition.”
Classical and Modern Literature, vol. 26, no. 2, 2006, pp. 51–66, ​Literature Resource

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