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Characters, Symbols, and Ironies

This is a brief overview of the characters, symbols, and ironies that occur in the story.


  1. Joy/ Hulga- thinks she is superior to the people around her, tries to believe in nothing, is the main character in the story and is involved in the main conflict with Manley Pointer.
  2. Manley Pointer- actually holds the beliefs that Hulga thinks she holds, is more experienced in worldly matters and ultimately shows Hulga what she really believes.
  3. Mrs. Hopewell- good country person; speaks in cliches which annoys Hulga; represents pure naivity (2 dots over the i).
  4. Mrs. Freeman- sees what Hulga truly is; is able to perceive the relationship between Hulga and her mother for what it really is.


  1. Peg Leg- symbolizes Hulga’s soul
  2. Manly Pointer- represents the devil in that he steals the souls of people.
  3. Gate- represents the boundary between the real world and the untouched innocence of the country world.
  4. Manley’s briefcase- represents Hell, which is where Manley keeps his captured souls.
  5. Vulcan- represents what Hulga strives to be. Vulcan is ugly like Hulga but possesses the power that Hulga wishes she had.
  6. Hulga’s Heart Condition- actual physical defect that also represents the emotional defect that Hulga has. There is an absence of emotion in Hulga
  7. Hopewell- name that represents the hope possessed by Hulga’s mother.



1. Ph.D.-Represents true knowledge but is really a facade.

2. Bibles-the good that Pointer hid his evil behind. "Never judge a book by its cover." True DAT.

3. Hulga thinks she playin’him but he be playin’ her.

4. Mrs. Hopewell calls everyone else good country people.


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