Good Country People Questions and Answers
by Flannery O’Connor

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Why does Hulga go on the picnic with Manley Pointer in "Good Country People"?

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Hulga is Mrs. Hopewell’s only child. She is thirty-two years old and is highly educated. She has a PhD in Philosophy, and most of the villagers find her attitude quite incomprehensible. Mrs. Hopewell still likes to treat Hulga like a child and refuses to call her by her legal name, which she finds as ugly as the “hull of a battleship.” Hulga has to stay close to her mother because she has a weak heart. The doctors think that with the best of care, she might just be able to see her forty-fifth birthday.

Hulga is openly discourteous to Manley Pointer, the Bible salesman when he visits her house. Mrs. Hopewell invites Manley to stay for dinner with them after discovering that the nineteen-year-old Bible salesman has a heart condition similar to Hulga’s. Throughout dinner, Hulga ignores the boy...

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