Psychology has been a part of literature since the beginning of its existence. Its references in the Bible which affirm that mankind is separated from the animal kingdom and also show us the normal pattern to lead an effective and rewarding Christian life are parts of psychology in the foundation of life’s meaning. We see these writings as truth as we have them instilled within us at an early age when attending church and reading the bible.
Psychology works the same way in every type of material one reads. One is subject to psychology and the part it plays in each of the short stories, novels or poems one reads. However one may have not be fully aware of how it affects our perception of the material. It is what keeps us interested in the story. The psychological appeal that comes with certain styles of writing and peaks the interest of the reader who is waiting to see the conclusion. As Thomas Kellogg states, “for the act of writing exemplifies to me the very essence of what it means to be human. Psychology is represented in each writing by the relationships that are created teens the authors and its readers. In Flannels O’Connor “Good Country People” her cognitive approach is easily understood, “cognitive psychology differs from other models in that it focuses on the human cognitive activity of structuring and interpreting one’s world. ” In this story we relate because we see Helga who believes in nothing and has seen what she believes to be evil since losing her leg. Her mind is so engrossed in negativity that she cannot get past the past.
When she finally does she is left in the barn thinking to herself that she was right all along. We also see the DOD as her mother still believes in the bible and its meaning. She sees almost everyone as “good country people” or “the salt of the earth. ” O’Connor uses a written psychological approach in the names of the characters. Mrs.. Freeman who works at the farm is a gossip who freely repeats the stories she is told. Mrs.. Hopeful is theoretically a hopeful and positive person who is always accepting of people, the story suggests it is because she is a Catholic.
The phrases of “Everybody is different” and “It takes all kinds to make the world” implies that she accepts and likes all kinds f people. When she says “people who looked on the bright side of things would be beautiful even if they were not” shows her positive side of thinking. Manley Pointer is just that, a man in a story with all female characters. His Manley ways seduce the immature Helga who loses herself because of a need for the affection she is lacking. “Brewer’s ‘structural affect theory was the first model in discourse psychology that seriously attempted to integrate plot, agency, and emotions” into literature.
This story has done Just that by having smaller parts that lead to the suspenseful end where Manley takes her artificial leg and leave’s her stranded or even the quick reference where Helga thinks he may have stood her up. That is what keeps each reader interested in the plot and makes one want to know the outcome. “The psychology of literature is therefore unique in its treatment of psychological matters because words are used to express and communicate information. ” “Furthermore, writers are like psychologists in being interested in the mind, emotions and behavior. ” In cautiously picking each word of the story they convey a message.
In this story Mrs.. Hopeful describes her feelings for the new name of Helga for her daughter Joy. She thought “broad blank hull of a battleship,” it angered her so much that she refused to call her anything but Joy. “In the study of human nature, literature, a product of our evolved human brains, is a bountiful source of data on human desires and dispositions, drawing attention to what is really important in our lives. ” This is shown in the way Helga both longs for a companion but is also a bit weary at the same time. Or how the mother is portrayed as a Christian, but cannot be proud of her daughter and the degree she received from college.
When reading this story one can relate to he loneliness, happiness, lack of confidence masked by anger and utter disappointment felt by its characters. It is a truly outstanding story that shows the dynamic between the mother and her daughters, Helga and her mother, Helga and Manley as well as the mother and Mrs.. Freeman. Theses inner intricate stories can easily relate to everyday people and the trials and tribulations of society.
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