September 16, 2013
In the short story, “Good Country People”, Flannery O’Connor introduces the character “Joy”, later known as “Hulga.” Hulga is a cruel, unhappy, and unfriendly person. Although, she is a harsh person, she is actually afraid, afraid of the world and of being judged. The three character traits which describe Hulga are angry, miserable, and frustrated.
Particularly, O’Connor presents Hulga as an angry person because Hulga is never happy. Her unhappiness comes from not being pretty, like Mrs. Freeman’s daughter Glynese or Carramae. Mrs. Freeman’s daughter, Glynese is an eighteen year old, redhead, and has many admirers. As for Carramae, she is only fifteen, married, and pregnant. On the other hand, Hulga is a thirty-two years old, large woman, with a PhD that is not in use, and single. She sees these other two young ladies who are much younger than she is and are very much liked by men, and have been kissed and touched by a man before. Hulga is jealous that she is alone at this time of her life; she wants to be kissed and touched by a man as well, and her jealousy does turn into hate and anger.
As a matter of fact, there is a saying, “Misery loves company,” and that is exactly what Hulga is and does. She is already a miserable person so anyone who is with her, has to be miserable as well. For example, “To her own mother she said-without warning, without excuse… ‘Woman! Do you ever look inside? Do you ever look inside and see what you are not? God!’ (O’Connor p.5, line 21) People, like Hulga, want everyone to join in their own misery.
Furthermore, Hulga is frustrated which makes her miserable, unhappy, and angry. She is frustrated that she cannot do anything to change her problems or the situation in which she finds herself. Hulga’s frustration comes from having a wooden leg, being overweight, and having to live a short life. Then, that is when her frustration explodes and makes her have these horrible...
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