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Flannery O'Connor

Autor:   •  January 4, 2019  •  1,200 Words (5 Pages)  •  52 Views

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Manly arises as a love interest for the character Hulga, who has a wooden leg and ends up falling for his fabricated story. She believes she has found a good mate in Manly until she realizes that he is an imposter. Manly proves to be amoral and abusive towards Hulga once they enter the barn alone. He retrieves her wooden leg and forces her to keep it off regardless of her clear discomfort. She is not mobile anymore without her leg so he continues to “[push] her down and began to kiss her again” (17). Manly does not care if Hulga is interested in kissing him at this point because he now has all the power. He is taking full advantage of a handicapped person who is unable to help themselves. Finally, Hulga is able to make him stop kissing her and they start to discuss Manley’s life as a bible salesman. While Hulga and Manly are talking in the barn, she realizes that Manly has hollow bibles which makes her question his morality. The reader can conclude, through the hollow bibles, that he does not even “believe in that [religious] crap!” (18). He claims that he takes advantage of people often due to many people’s assumption that he is just a good country boy. He also tells Hulga that Manly Pointer is not even his real name so she will not be able to report him for his wrong doings. Manly proves to be an amoral and abusive by lying about his religious views, taking advantage of a handicapped women, and being a con artist. Manly is able to fool everyone in O’Connor’s short story and gets away with it, unlike The Grandmother.

Given these points, both of the characters presented above are believed to be honest, everyday people due to their outward appearance. However, their outward facades wither away due to their true identity that has no choice but to eventually come out. The Grandmother believes that the old southern ideal of how a lady is supposed to be treated will get her out of trouble. Nonetheless, The Misfit sees through that and shoots her anyway because he does not care what she is outwardly imposing on him. Manly, on the other hand, is not in an as vulnerable position as The Grandmother is towards the end of the story. He is still immoral and continues to scam people as he switches from town to town giving people fake names. While both of these characters try to hide under their socially acceptable disguises, O’Connor never fails to prove that many people are immoral or corrupt underneath their masks. The point she conveys to her audience is that no one can assume one’s true intentions based upon outer appearance. She proves to the reader that everyday people have the ability to put on a show for the world and that it is our job to be conscience of their true moral compass.


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