Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good Country People

In my English class I read the short story Good Country People by Flannery O'Connor. It's an intriguing story of a misunderstood woman, Hulga, and how she is deceived by a young man, Manley Pointer. I must admit, I adore this story.

One of the first captivating things we learn is that Hulga, who used to be Joy, changed her name after receiving her PhD in Philosophy, and she has an artificial leg. Unlike her family, she is atheist, and doesn't care about the Southern Belle image. She is seemingly, and consistently rude to everyone she encounters. Her rudeness reminds me of when people hold grudges for ridiculous petty reasons, but it's never really explained fully.

Eventually we meet Manley Pointer when he comes to the house to sell bibles. He is a friendly enthusiastic young man, all of nineteen. Keeping to her southern belle image, Mrs. Hopewell invited Manley into the house, even though when reading her thoughts, she never wanted to. She offers him dinner, and he, of course, accepts. This is much like when someone offers to hang out with you or see you, you don't want to say no and look rude. Any sensible person knows when anything is cancelled or declined it's for the best. Not when you're Southern!

To cut to the chase, eventually Manley talks to Hulga, getting her to go out with him. He seduces him much to her pleasure because she had fantasized it the previous night. When he gets her to a loft in a barn he opens one of his bibles to show us it's a hiding spot where he keeps a flask, condoms, and playing cards. He convinces her to remove her leg, she does so, and he seems to be glad that she opened up. They kiss. Later Manley takes the leg and packs his bible. He leaves Hulga by saying "One time I got a woman's glass eye this way... you ain't so smart. I been believing in nothing every since I was born." The faux Christian who seduces people and steals vital possessions leaves Hulga stranded.

In the end we see Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman gardening, competing with one another unofficially to see who can be the perfect ideal, much like typical teenage girls do. Mrs. Hopewell sees Manley, and brags to her friend about show she knows such a perfect southern gentleman saying, "He was so simple, but I guess the world would be better off if we were all that simple." Ripping an onion from the ground her friend replies, "Some can't be that simple, I know I never could." She reveals a rebellious imperfect side of herself. This is where the story ends, finally seeing someone caught in acting out, like O'Connor had probably hoped she had done.

O'Connor wrote to expose the falsehood of the southern ideals. I see this applies to people in general. All four characters acted out of character in their mind, or when they knew they could get away with it.

I've got to say, I've played the role of Manley Pointer several times lately, and like Manley, when all is said and done, I sit and look at the glass eye and the wooden leg as if they're trophies. Proud and smug.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I'm on my way to Outrage as we speak, I've missed it there.

Last night I thought about how amazing modern culture is. The idea of fashion, self-enhancement, transportation, communication, and daily rituals are only a few of the topics that held my thoughts. The idea that we are conveniently able to become self-proclaimed rock stars, is something people 150 years ago didn't even bother fantasizing about. This leads to the idea that with these aspects of life enhanced, we are able to better adapt to our social needs and desires.

When I was in the car in the middle of a text message, smoking a cigarette with my sunglasses on and the music blaring, I saw glamour. I live luxuriously. But now living luxuriously isn't so uncommon. The term luxe is now being defined through the everyday person.

Today I went on a field trip to see a one-man performance of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This only furthered my thought about the idea of the role that technology plays in developing social relationships. Written in the 1950's, this play showed me that human interaction will never change despite the growth of virtual relationships, or staying in tough via phone or Internet.

I may sound contradictory now, because I have friends that I only know on the Internet. I'm just saying how I comprehend that the Internet or the phone doesn't really make a relationship grow.... at all.

In sum, I want to say, I am grateful for the everyday fabulosity I get to experience. Technology has only allowed my dreams to grow to unimaginable heights. My dreams are as big as the ocean is deep. And my dreams becoming reality are as likely as God watching me as I type.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Boots

Instead of posting this week I decided to make one post about the biggest thoughts of my week.

The oldest one in my memory is when Francois dethroned Elizabeth. Elizabeth is one of the most beautiful creatures in my school aside from myself. Her makeup is flawless and when she decides to get dressed insomething other than sweats she's a fashionista. Once my equal, she has become a fan like the rest unfortunately.

In Chemistry before the bell rang, Elizabeth stood toward the back on the room with her back to the teacher, texting. I noticed this but said nthing, but I saw Francois get up, so I looked to see what he ws doing. He informed the teacher she was texting. She then took her phone, I watched it all, live.

All in a flash, she lost her beauty, coolness, arrogance, and reassurance. It was beautiful.

Second would be a woman at GAP Outlet. She came in today seeking to update her mom look. A mother of three children was going on a date with her husband tonight and wanted to look nice for him. I aided her in her search. She was VERY successful, and satisfied. This woman tought me the impotance of looking good. It wasn't just me that thought that looking unpresentable was an issue regardless of how busy your lifestyle is. Yet, she tought me that it is excusable when ladies of her kind dress the way they do, because they desire to dress better. Thank you mother of three.

Third is that today is the day that marks one month with Ronnie. Thank you for being so great to me. I'm excited to have you as my first Valentine. Today I learned that I really do love you, and that I don't think I ever want to leave you. I'm glad we're serious, and I'm glad to know you even if things don't work out on your half.

Lastly, we would have shopping. Today I went shopping and I put some stuff on my credit card. I bought the most beautiful brown dress boots, with a fabulous little heel. My life is complete. These shoes do more than say they're beautiful, they say my denim looks expensive, and the belt matches flawless. I spent little money on them which fueled my excitement.

Being dethroned is like losing your voice in fashion like the mother of three did. And buying a pair of beautiful new boots that enhance everything about you is like having a partner that brings out the best in you.