How do Mrs. Hopewell's assumptions about life compare with those of Krebs's mother in Hemingway's "Soldier's Home"? Explain how the conflict in each story is related to what the mothers come to represent in the eyes of the central characters.

In "Good Country People," Hulga Hopewell and her mother, Mrs. Hopewell, do not agree with each other on many issues. The conflict in this story arises from the fact that Mrs. Hopewell treats Hulga like a child and expects her to conform to her mother's standards of behavior. Hulga is a grown woman, however, and has different ideas than her mother. Hulga clashes with her mother because her mother refuses to accept that her daughter's choices are different but right for her, and she appears to be ashamed of her daughter for choosing different ways of life. Mrs. Hopewell struggles with the idea that she cannot control how Hula lives her life.

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In “Good Country People,” Mrs. Hopewell has a hopeful attitude about life and a conventional worldview. She believes she is superior to most everyone else, and thus, she is highly critical of others. Most importantly, however, she is highly critical of her daughter, Hulga, and has expectations of her that...

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In “Good Country People,” Mrs. Hopewell has a hopeful attitude about life and a conventional worldview. She believes she is superior to most everyone else, and thus, she is highly critical of others. Most importantly, however, she is highly critical of her daughter, Hulga, and has expectations of her that Hulga can never meet. The conflict between these two women revolves around the fact that Mrs. Hopewell treats Hulga like a child and expects her to conform to her mother’s standards of behavior. Hulga, however, is a grown woman and her own person. She clashes with her mother because her mother refuses to accept that her daughter’s choices are different but right for her, and she appears to be ashamed of her daughter for choosing different ways. Mrs. Hopewell struggles with the idea that she cannot control how her daughter lives her life, and Hulga believes she will never be a "good" person in her mother's eyes.

In “Soldier’s Home,” Krebs’s mother also has a conventional worldview and is highly set in her beliefs. She also has expectations for her son that he can never meet. Most significant to the story is the fact that Krebs’s mother is highly religious, and she believes that anyone who is religious is a good and honest person and anyone who is not religious is dishonest and should be reformed. Much like Mrs. Hopewell tries to control Hulga, Krebs’s mother tries to control what her son believes and how he lives his life. Her son, however, has been changed by his experience at war and has lost his belief in God. But his mother tries to force religion on him and make him pray. When he can’t, she prays for him. The patronizing and condescending ways of both Mrs. Hopewell and Krebs’s mother strain their relationships with their children, who feel they can never live up to their mothers’ expectations and will always be looked down upon by them because of this. Thus, both mothers come to stand for beliefs that the children can never fully accept and expectations they can never meet.

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