Part One: Several of our works this week portray significant or complex relationships between characters. Choose one that stood out to you as particularly moving or engaging. Describe the relationship and explain its personal resonance with you.
Part Two: Research one of this week’s authors and tell us what about his or her biography struck you as being reflective of issues in the work. Be sure to cite all biographical information you report.
Part Three: Post-modern work is sometimes ambiguous. In O’Brien’s story we meet a soldier who goes AWOL- he leaves his post and a squad of men is sent to find him. How do you think this story ends based on what you see in this short excerpt? What clues can you tease out of the chapter to give an indication of where this story might be headed?
O’Brien’s work focuses on Cacciato before he becomes AWOL. Therefore, you are tasked with ‘guessing’ about what happens next after reading this short section. If you prefer, you can focus on why Cacciato says this at the end of the story: “You will. You got a terrific sense of humor”
The character relationship I choose is Ms. Hopewell & her daughter Hula a.k.a Joy. Mother/Daughter relationships are always tricky. Mothers can be portrayed or as a girls best friend or their worst enemy. In the Good Country People, the pair don’t seem to see eye to eye on what kind of intelligence is most important. On one end Ms. Hopewell is a confident women who doesn’t mind a bit of hard work and probably does well with everyday life problems. For example, calculating when to plant certain vegetables at the exact right time of season. It doesn’t take a genius but does take some common sense thinking. On the other hand Hulga (Joy) may solely rely on books to figure out when to plant the vegetables but would be missing the experience part and the ability to make slight tweaks to the plan. This relationship has a slight struggle as one values a type of intelligence over another. Hulgas dilemma is partly because of her handicap. She cannot perform the same work as her mother and makes it up with her book smarts. I could see where this would create some isolation for Hulga.
I researched Flannery O’Conner. Based on her biography its no wonder that her work reflected the south. Southerners are proud and ensure people know they are southern. We usually give ourselves anyhow on a count of our strong accents. Yes I said we as I am a southerner as well. The short story “Good County People” was published in 1955. I found it to be very accurate on the era it was written in. The setting is a small country farm where life is simple and everyone knows everyone. It is a very simple life.
Cacciato I think tells Paul that we will be okay and that he has a great sense of humor because deep inside Cacciato is struggling himself with the trauma that war brings on a person. He is in a way showing admiration for Paul that he can find humor in such a horrific accident with Billy boy. He also might be wishing he could find humor in the terrible things they have seen thus far.