Hulga Character Analysis
Hulga's epiphany, or moment of grace, occurs as a result of Pointer's betrayal of her faith in him and his destruction of her intellectual pretensions. Prior to his betrayal of her, Hulga considered herself to be the intellectual superior of all those around her. She relied upon the wisdom of this world to guide her, contrary to the biblical warning to "See to it that no one deceives you by philosophy and vain deceit, according to human traditions, according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ" (New King James Version, Colossians 2:8). O'Connor uses the final paragraphs of the story to make the parallel which she established earlier between Hulga and her mother even clearer. Hulga has now undergone mortification, and Mrs. Hopewell appears to be facing a future revelation. Mrs. Hopewell's analysis of Pointer, "He was so simple . . . but I guess the world would be better off if we were all that simple” (O'Connor 283) is as wrong as Hulga's earlier assessment of Pointer. The final irony in the story involves Mrs. Freeman's response: "Some can't be that simple. . . . I know I never could” (O'Connor 284). Thus, the reader is left with the impression that Mrs. Hopewell will also have to go through an experience which will destroy the confidence she has in her ability to control and to use Mrs.