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Symbolism In Good Country People

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Symbolism is when the author uses objects to add deeper meaning to the story without mentioning it in the story. In Flannery O’Connor’s story, “Good Country People”, she uses symbolism to illustrate the antagonist and protagonist with more insight; for example, Manley’s hollow Bible signify how he really does not believe in Christianity, Hulga’s wooden leg portrayed her personality, and her name change represents how she is not the same girl she once was. First of all, the author introduces Manley Pointer as a young man that goes around homes selling Bibles, but little did she know that was not the case. When Manley Pointer goes on a date with Hulga the truth is revealed. Hulga has the impression that Manley is a young nice man that sells Bibles…show more content…
“...The hunting accident...the leg had been literally blasted off” (O’Connor 484), this sentence mentioned by the author symbolizes Hulga’s personality, because when something very valuable is taken away from someone and they are aware of it, but are not able to react to it, it could change a person drastically. Hulga could have been a totally different women if she had her leg, that’s why the author decided to give her a wooden leg. In the story the author mentions how Hulga does not care about her appearance at all. When she goes on a date with Manley Pointer she wears a dirty white shirt, applies Vapex as perfume, and never smiles. “...She didn’t like dogs or cats or birds or flowers or nature or nice young men” (O’Connor 485), Hulga’s personality might be like this because of her wooden leg. She might have given up on herself because she is not able to do everything she will like. For example, a wooden leg is ugly, uncomfortable, and prevents you from doing certain things. Therefore, the leg is preventing Hulga from being who she really wants to be, that is why she pushes away everything that will make her happy and what define who she really is. The author does not directly mention this in the story, but by the way Hulga acts the reader can conclude that the wooden leg symbolizes her new…show more content…
“She had a vision of the name working like the ugly sweating Vulcan…” (O’Connor 484), Vulcan is the Roman god of fire and also a blacksmith, furthermore, someone similar to Vulcan is Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire and blacksmith as well. This is related to Hulga’s name change because Joy did not represent her, therefore, she decided to change it to Hulga. That is why she mentions Vulcan when she is having a conversation with her mother. Hulga can relate to him because, Hephaestus had a limp, he is ugly, and physically undesirable. Hulga fits all of those categories in a way, she had a limp because she did not have a leg, she was not physically ugly, but the way she thought of herself was, and she was undesirable because she did not take care of herself properly. “One of her major triumphs was that her mother had not been able to turn her dust into Joy…” (O 'Connor 484), this could mean that with name decision Hulga had made her mother could not turn it into something positive, because once something is dust you can not turn it back into its original form. Hulga’s name change symbolized that she was not the same girl she once was or she would be. In addition, the author inserts Vulcans name to compare him to Hulga’s
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