Analysis of Flannery OConnors Good Country People

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Joy/Hulga’s false attitude of superiority is actually a self-built cocoon of isolation, which camouflages her fear of life: Pointer’s violation is her salvation as it breaks open her cocoon and forces her to live. Joy/Hulga’s intellectual superiority is only a convenient device that she uses to isolate herself from the real world. She uses her doctorate in Philosophy as a justification for considering herself to be intellectually superior. She makes it clear that she despises the circumstances of her life and would be far from these red hills and good county people (O’Connor, 18) if it wasn’t for her weak heart. In her opinion, the intellectual environment of a university would suit her abilities. However, her attitude is so exaggerated that it is evident that she is merely using her disabilities as an excuse to avoid any risk of failure in the real world. She does not make the least attempt to live the life she feels she is suited to and is content to remain a passive spectator, scorning her everyday world. She utilizes her doctorate, her artificial leg and her heart condition as reasons for her self-chosen misery (Garbett, Para 1)Every aspect of Joy/Hulga’s personality is deliberately contrived to strengthen her defensive walls and discourage anyone from attempting to get close to her. Hulga is the master of the Wall, which she uses to protect herself from the world (Chris. Rubas Web site. Para 12). Her physical posture of standing square and rigid-shouldered with her neck thrust slightly forward (O’Connor, 12), is aggressive and discourages anyone from approaching her. She deliberately dresses in sloppy clothes, going about all day in an old skirt and a faded sweatshirt, as an apparent symbol of her defiance, which is actually another device to repulse people. She is bloated, rude and squint-eyed (O’Connor, 18), again an attempt to discourage all interpersonal relationships. She looks at nice young men as if she could smell their stupidity.