Flannery O’conner’s Hulga

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Taylor B.
7 December 2012
AP Composition

Flannery O’Conner’s Hulga
Character development for an author is incredibly important. Characters define a story and to a reader, they are what make a story sad, happy, exciting, thrilling, or frustrating. This is why an author may have almost no plot line for a story but they will have extremely dense character descriptions embedded within their writings. Some authors are blatantly straight forward with their character analysis, but others, like Flannery, make it a bit more difficult for their readers to get a good grasp on the character. Hulga is one of Flannery’s peculiar characters, showcased in “Good Country People,” she is depicted as a very socially awkward girl, not woman, who receives little love and affection. Although Hulga is said to be thirty two years old, Flannery presents her to act and appear much younger than she really is and this, to the audience, is an inferred feeling that they get from reading, “Good Country People.”

Joy, later renamed Hulga, is first introduced to us as Mrs. Hopewell’s daughter, “a large blonde girl who had an artificial leg” (271). Flannery tells us that Joy is highly educated although later that is proven to be a contradictory statement as she is depicted as a gullible girl when introduced to Manley Pointer and on countless occasions, Flannery refers to Hulga as a “girl” (283). Another incident where Joy is shown to be extremely immature is when she legally changes her name to Hulga, partly because of its ugly sound and to upset her mother. Throughout the story Flannery drops hints to her readers, contributing to the reader’s analysis of Hulga’s personality. She does this through actions, dialogue, and other characters as well as direct verbiage of Joy’s characteristics. Hulga is portrayed as arrogant even when put into the perspective that she has been through a lot in life and has to deal with the unfortunate one-leg problem. When Flannery states Hulga’s idea of men as,...
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