Despite her professed beliefs, Hulga had some reservations about her looks and age as she always wanted to portray herself younger than she actually was. Mrs. Hopewell “thought of her daughter as a child though she was thirty-two years old and highly educated” (271). Moreover Hulga showed similar childish behavior. “all day [she wore] a six-year-old skirt and a yellow sweat shirt with a faded cowboy on a horse embossed on it” (276). When Manly Pointer requested her age, she replied seventeen (283).
The first mention of Joy in the story is as Mrs. Hopewell’s daughter, as a “large blonde girl who had an artificial leg” (271). Joy is totally dependent on her mother because of her physical disability. When she was ten, Joy lost her leg in an accident during hunting. In addition to her physical disability, she had heart problems because of which she could not go away from her home. In short, her health confined her to her home with her mother as her only caretaker. She is no belief in God or divinity whatsoever; neither does she value the bond she shares with her mother. The only thing she reveres is her artificial limb as it has become part of her identity. When Joy takes her artificial limb off, “she [feels] entirely dependent on [Manly Pointer]” (289).Despite her disabilities, Joy is very intelligent and shows her intellect in the academia. She is proficient in her studies and shows expertise in the study of philosophy. Her education however also becomes a burden on her relationship with her mother. She has acquired so much education that she feels it has increased the gap between the mentality and mindset between herself and her mother. “Joy had made it plain that if it had not been for this [heart] condition, she would be far from these red hills and good country people” (276) The name ‘Hulga’ has no meaning, the girl ...
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