Good Country People Questions and Answers
by Flannery O’Connor

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What is Manley Pointer's motive for humiliating Hulga?

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Manley Pointer evidently has a fetish for objects related to disability, specifically for parts which have been tooled to replace what has been lost. He has a compunction to collect such objects from those who have become dependent on them. He tells Hulga as much:

 I've gotten a lot of interesting things, he said. One time I got a woman's glass eye this way.

Manley sees Hulga's leg as a piece he can add to his collection, and he seems to have deliberately targeted her when he noticed her disability. It appears that his primary motive was to get hold of her leg all along. Also, it seems as if he resents Hulga's belief that she is more intelligent than him and that she looks down on him.

Furthermore, it becomes evident that he also wants to corrupt Hulga because he takes out whiskey, playing cards with dirty illustrations on them, and a blue box that might contain condoms. The fact that he has them hidden in a Bible indicates the depth of his...

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