English 254                   Class #14         Wed, May 14th

O'Connor, “Good Country People”; Plath, “Daddy”


“Good Country People”

1. What does Mrs. Hopewell mean by "good country people"?




2. Mrs. Hopewell says, "Everybody is different...It takes all kinds to make the world." Does she believe it? What is Hulga, and what does her mother want her to be? What makes Hulga unforgivably "different"?




3. How does Hulga feel about herself?




4. On p. 2573, Mrs. Hopewell reads from one of Hulga’s philosophy books. What is the passage about, and how might you characterize Hulga’s own philosophy?




5. Why does Joy change her name to Hulga?




6. Why is Hulga interested in Manley Pointer?




7. What does Hulga's leg mean to her? Why does Manley Pointer want it?




8. What is Manley Pointer really interested in?




9. How does Hulga change in the course of the story?




10. In what ways do you expect Hulga will change after her experience in the barn with Manley Pointer?



11. What is the theme of this story--the subject and the story's point about that subject?




Plath, "Daddy"

Plath once introduced the poem this way:

            "Here is a poem spoken by a girl with an electra complex. Her father died while she thought he was God. Her case is complicated by the fact that her father was also a Nazi and her mother very possibly part Jewish. In the daughter the two strains marry and paralyze each other--she has to act out the awful little allegory once over before she is free of it."


1. How would you characterize the speaker?




2. How does the speaker characterize her father? For example, what did the father do, and why doesn’t he “do” anymore?




3. What emotional associations are connected with the word "Daddy"? Are those associations reinforced or contradicted in the poem?




4. In what sense does the speaker make a model of her father?




5. What does she mean when she says, "I do, I do"?




6. Does the poem exhibit the speaker's love for her father or her hatred for him? For example, what sort of man does the speaker marry?




7. What does the speaker mean when she says "Every woman adores a fascist"?




8. How does "Daddy" compare with "My Papa's Waltz"?