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Themes and Motifs

The following is a brief synopsis of the themes and motifs in "Good Country People".


  1. Hulga vs. Manley – presumed knowledge versus the actual knowledge and experience. The main conflict in the story.
  2. Naivity (with 2 dots on the i) vs. Experience -Hulga represents naivity and Manley represents knowledge.
  3. Hulga’s struggle to break the barriers of good country people (Hulga Vs. her mother) -Hulga wants to be better than a good country person but cannot break the barrier to the real world. In an attempt to gain her goal, Hulga gets her Ph.D.


1. Good Country People- the reference to the perceived simplicity and innocence of the people.

2. Names-The occurrence of the symbolism of the character names is a motif.


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