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A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND
A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST
The twelve-year-old girl who is focus of the story, is not named in the story. She says terribly mean or nasty things to people, quite often. She is on the edge of puberty, has notions of religion and sexuality confused, and is a terror to pretty much everyone.
Susan and Joanne
The child's distant cousins are two fourteen-year-old girls who are boy crazy and are staying with the child and her mother over a long weekend. They are not very smart, and find humor in almost everything. Of course, they dislike the convent.
The child's mother
The mother also thinks the visiting girls are too much, too idiotic. She also wants them to have a good time, and when they leave she says they should come back another time. She doesn't always mean what she says, and gets carried away by what she thinks she should think or do.
The child becomes fascinated by what she's heard of a peep show at a local fair. She can't quite imagine what the older girls have seen, and so makes the image into a religious ritual.
Protagonist and Antagonist
This story does not have a typical antagonist or protagonist. The main character, the child, is the focus of the story, and she does come to the verge of understanding something. Religion and sexuality are confusing to her, but they are not evil forces. The two girls who come to visit certainly change her world, but almost by accident.
When the child goes to the convent service, she suddenly asks God to rid her of her meanness.
On the ride home, the child learns that the peep show has been closed down--probably because of the hermaphrodite exposing him/herself. She knows the hermaphrodite asked for understanding and compassion, yet priests have shut the show down.