What did Hulga/Joy and Manley Pointer have in common?  

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Christopher Jerde eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Hulga and Manley are both quite fake people. Both use false names. Both dress strangely. Both have heart conditions which reflect their ill souls. Both planned to seduce one another as part of a great joke. Both are nihilistic atheists. Both are intelligent people who like to ponder about things like philosophy in their spare time.

However, there is one key difference: Manley's nihilism is genuine, whereas Hulga's nihilism is more of a coping mechanism. She uses it to dull the pain she feels about her leg and life in general. Manley has seemingly no reason for his nihilism. He says he has been a nihilist since he "was born," implying he is certain that nothing means anything whereas Hulga does not.

Therefore, though they seem quite similar in a variety of ways, deep down, the two are almost opposites.

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Hulga and Manley share an arrogant outlook on life: they both think they are smarter than other people. For Hulga, this idea arises from having lived outside of rural Georgia and having...

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Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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