Yet there is incongruence in O'Connor's portrayals. As A. R. Coulthard suggests, "Good Country People" and "The Lame Shall Enter First" both "leave the question of salvation unanswered" (55), and the disabled who embody the imperfect human form are rarely saved. I would like to redeem Hulga Hopewell and Rufus Johnson, however, and to use their disability to do so. Specifically, I suggest that the non-disabled humanity in these texts is, in fact, corrupt, selfish, and unforgiving, and that this view arises because of characters such as Hulga and Rufus. The disabled are, in fact, necessary in order to expose imperfection and inhumanity.
“The Necessity of Disability in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Good Country People’ and ‘The Lame Shall Enter First.’” Flannery O’Connor Review, 4 (Spring 2006): 88-98.