"Good Country People"Ã¯Â¿Â½ "Good Country People"Ã¯Â¿Â½ deals with a woman named Hulga, who, because of her experience and her degree in Philosophy, feels she is intellectually superior to everyone in her surroundings. She has been physically handicapped since the age of ten and has not led a "normal"Ã¯Â¿Â½ life; because of this she alienates herself from her environment (O'Connor 173). The author uses Hulga to demonstrate how alienation and intellectual superiority can damage relationships, stunt intellectual and emotional growth, and blind one to reality.
Due to her handicap she has become a very isolated and spiteful person. Hulga despises her situation and believes that she is mentally above those around her; therefore, she has no need to develop relations with them. She would rather spend her days reading Philosophy than talking to her mother or Mrs. Freeman, the hired women. I see a symbolic connection between her "weak heart"Ã¯Â¿Â½ and her lack of emotional attachments (O'Connor 174).
She resents the heart condition cause it is the only reason she is still with her mother instead of getting a lecturing job at a university, and she punishes her mother everyday by being rude. She does nothing to hide the disgust at the ignorance of her mother and the unsophisticated, country behavior of her mother's friends. It seems that she has no interest in men. According to her mother she looks at them "as if she can smell their stupidity"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (O'Connor 175). With this attitude, no wonder she fails to establish emotional ties with family, friends, and lovers.
In order to mature emotionally and intellectually it requires a willingness to learn from the experience and knowledge of others as well as one's own experiences. Hulga feels that the people around her are inferior and cannot...