Examples Of Nihilism In Good Country People

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People who put full confidence in potentially harmful philosophies without exploring the full ramifications, will end up in ruin. In "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor, Hulga possesses a nihilistic view, but is destroyed when the real world example of her beliefs confront her. Joy Hopewell is a well educated woman in her early thirties. She is described by her mother as "bloated, rude, and squint-eyed" (184). As a consequence to a hunting accident, she must always use a prosthetic leg. In an attempt to control her own life, Joy changes her name to Hulga. The new name is an attempt to show control in the meaningless world she claims to live in. At the root of all her gloomy characteristics there is a nihilistic worldview, one that …show more content…

A nihilist has no place for love. Hulga deeply desires to be accepted for who she is. The past experiences in her life consist of people judging her based on her leg. Nihilism is her supposed escape from taking judgments personally, because nothing has meaning. She wants to be accepted, but even her mother doesn't accept her. All her mother sees is an immature woman. Mrs. Freeman considers her an interesting anomaly. Hulga's willingness to expose herself to Manley because he accepts her with the leg. There is part of her that is drawn to that level of infatuation. "Kissing him again and again as if she were trying to draw all the breath out of him" (O'Connor). Hulga has never experienced the feelings of being kissed; nihilism never allowed that much openness. Manley's warm actions of affection are a stark contrast to the cold nihilist indifference. Manley is not a "low-life" southerner, but her salvation. His apparent beliefs have conquer her into forgetting the meaninglessness. Imagining a future where she can "run away with him" (O'Connor), Hulga pushes aside nihilism and in hopes to gain a life of meaning. The bliss is short lived, when the truth comes …show more content…

The scene in the barn displays the reality of Hulga's beliefs as they explode in front of her. When Hulga discovers Manley's façade, she realizes the evil of nihilism and the damage nihilism incurs. Manley says "What’s the matter with you all of a sudden?” he asked, frowning as he screwed the top on the flask and put it quickly back inside the Bible. “You just a while ago said you didn’t believe in nothing. I thought you was some girl" (O'Connor)! This quote throws Hulga's belief in nihilism back in her face. Hulga is not completely invested in the idea that everything is meaningless. There is a part of her that wants Manley to access most intimate part of her; as long as he is a good country man. She is willing to throw the towel in on nihilism at the first sign of love. When Manley Pointer shows his true self, the reality of nihilism is horrifying to

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