Good Country People by Flannery O’Connor

552 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 2 Pages
Even though a façade is put on, one realizes how vulnerable Hulga Hopewell actually is. Her encounter with a Bible salesman, Manley Pointer, shows how one cannot trust even “good country people” (2). Symbolism in this story transforms what one perceives the character of Hulga and Manley to be and allows the reader to make deeper connections about their physical and mental flaws. The main, and most noticeable, symbol is Hulga “Joy” Hopewell’s artificial leg. She is “as sensitive about it as a peacock about its tail” (8). The roughness of her personality matches that of her wooden leg. Since becoming handicapped, she removes all feelings for others, herself, and the belief in a higher power. She feels that she is not of value anymore and not worth the “dust of her existence” (11) so she changes her name to Hulga, which she believes is the ugliest name in all languages. Her leg is used as a tool to illustrate to others her miserable state. She stomps around and purposely makes an “ugly-sounding” (9) noise. As bad as the situation of losing her leg may be, what is worse is how she uses it. The leg, though inanimate and built to be very strong, is her crutch, both literally and psychologically. This crutch is what makes her so weak and bitter. When Hulga says to her mother, Mrs. Hopewell, “if you want me, here I am- like I am” (2) this…
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