When reading the short story “Good Country People,” by Flannery O’Connor, I became uneasy towards the ending; The MAN-woman binary in the excerpt clearly highlights the discrimination towards women in the real world.

In the passage, a man who claims he is selling Bibles takes advantage of Joy, a woman with a plastic leg. He steals her leg and she is unable to fight back, losing an important part of her life and regular functionality. This scene has an underlying message: many women aren’t able to use their full potential because it is taken from them with sexism; they are often seen as less than men. The loss of Joy’s leg symbolizes her inability to “get ahead” in the real world. It also highlights the fact that many women are unfairly taken advantage of and have no satisfaction of punishing the perpetrator.

Although Flannery did not specifically state this, it reminded me that the man to woman and binary is evident in society. We have a lot of work to do with many unjust binaries. This is just a very unique way of looking at the scene.

2 thoughts on “MAN-woman

  1. CAIT O.

    I agree that there is an uneven power dynamic in society between men and women still. We like to think that we have made epic strides in the past for women’s rights, and we have. However, this same binary is still apparent as young as elementary school when the boys refuse to pass to the girls in gym class. Personally, I think making more strides to defeat this binary would only be possible with more women in office.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jasmine W

    I was pleasantly surprised by this post because it discussed something that I didn’t even think about when reading the story. I totally agree that the MAN/woman binary is extremely prevalent in both literature and society today. After reading what you said, I am looking at the story in a completely different light.


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