Good Country People Hulga Character Analysis

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In Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People”, O’Connor utilizes the relationship of Mrs. Hopewell and her daughter, Joy, or Hulga, as a representation and critique of the lack of self-awareness in society. To do so, O’Connor presents the sense of superiority each character possesses over the other, resulting them to not question their own self. In doing so, O’Connor challenges the common perceptions of society in never questioning one’s self, leading hypocrisy to become rapid amongst individuals. Through examining the relationship between the characters of Mrs. Hopewell and Hulga in regards to: both characters viewing themselves to be dissimilar, their sense of superiority over the other, the ironic similarity they share, and their hypocrisy, …show more content…

Hopewell perceives Hulga as physically and socially abnormal, and nothing like herself. In terms of appearance, O’Connor depicts Hulga as possessing a masculine appearance through describing Hulga with the terms “large” and “stout” (2, 4). Likewise, Hulga’s physical abnormality is a further apparent for the reason that Hulga has “an artificial leg” (O’Connor 2, 5). But, Hulga’s abnormality proceeds beyond physical deformities, as Mrs. Hopewell describes Hulga as disliking dogs, cats, birds, flowers, nature, while also dressing in a manner that Mrs. Hopewell finds “idiotic” and childish (O’Connor 5). Moreover, for social interaction, Mrs. Hopewell describes Hulga as “bloated, rude, and squint-eyed”- a far contrast from “other people” (O’Connor 5). In all, it becomes clear that the abnormality that Mrs. Hopewell sees in Hulga is a result of Hulga’s lack of womanly features, while also being unalike to social norms. Alternatively, Mrs. Hopewell is the opposite, as she is quite feminine, since she dresses in a “red kimono” for breakfast, while also being aware of the right social convention such as never being rude to nice, good country people (O’Connor 5, 10). Thus, it is clear that she regards Hulga as completely different from herself. Yet, Hulga sees herself as being just as different from her

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