Describe Joy-Hulga. Use as many adjectives as you can. Then describe Mrs. Freedman, Mrs. Hopewell, and Manly Pointer. Would you like to have any of these people to dinner? Why does O’Connor create such characters?
How would each of the story’s characters describe themselves? What is O’Connor suggesting through this discrepancy?
Were you suspicious of Manly Pointer? Locate foreshadowing that hints to Pointer’s true character.
Analyze the theme of power in the story. Who has power over whom?
What characters, besides Joy-Hulga, seem most in need of enlightenment? Specifically, what seems to be each character’s central flaw?
The story opens with a discussion of Mrs. Freeman. Why? In what ways does Mrs. Freeman see more clearly than either Joy-Hulga or Mrs. Hopewell? Does Mrs. Freeman misrepresent herself?
Locate ironies in the story. Try to find verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony.
Identify and explain at least three of the story’s symbols.
Are there any “good country people” in the story? Why does O’Connor title her story this way?