First, consider Flannery’s theme “redemption through catastrophe” In just a few words, share your thoughts on why Joy-Hulga is or is not in need of redemption? Consider what was she like before her encounter with Manley Pointer? Has she changed? Before her encounter with Manley Pointer, Hulga thought of herself as more intellectual than everyone around her. She wasn’t religious; she didn’t believe in God. She was a smart girl with a PhD and an atheist attitude. This changes when Manley Pointer (I guess) almost rapes her, but doesn’t and just takes her leg and leaves her in the barn. I guess at this point she started to want to believe that there is a God who saved her. This incident probably restored her faith in religion after this.
Second, comment on the statement “… there is a wooden part of her soul that corresponds to her wooden leg” (qtd. in text, 234). Let’s play “find the symbols.” If Joy-Hulga’s wooden leg is symbolic of something in her soul, how do you interpret the scene in the barn with Manley Pointer, the Bible salesman I think the scene in the barn represented evil itself. When Hulga was in the barn with Manley Pointer, he ended up seducing her and making her take off her leg to show that she loved him. Then he ended up stealing her leg and abandoning her there. I think this could symbolize the action of evil that made Hulga realize God’s grace and mercy.