The Difference Between City People and Hillbillies in the Movie “Deliverance”

Deliverance is a 1972 movie set in the fictional Cahulawassee river in the Southern United States. It follows the story of four city people who took a rafting trip to Aintry, but their trip was cut short by the attack of hillbilly people. This movie, based on a novel by James Dickey, reveals the dark side of hillbillies as deviant and murderous. We see in the movie as two hillbillies attack Bobby and Ed on the bank of the river. The first hillbilly ties Ed to a tree while the second hillbilly violently rapes Bobby. After Lewis shoots the rapist hillbilly dead, the other hillbilly escapes and now is trying to wipe out the four city people. Therefore, it is evident that hillbillies are portrayed in this movie as murderous rapists. The only question is, what is a hillbilly, and what is a city person? Is there any similarities and differences between them?

A “hillbilly” is a stereotypical term for a person living in the Appalachian Mountains in the US, but the term also applies to a person living in the Ozarks. Hillbillies are generally thought to be dirty, unkempt, and feuding with a penchant for moonshine (Mmmmmmm, moonshine). The term “hillbilly” has unknown origin, although the definition existed way back in 1900. As I found out in Wikipedia, “a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammeled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him.” (1) From the meaning, it is evident that a hillbilly is a mountain-dwelling drunkard who likes to trash-talk and fire weapons at random.

A city person is, you guessed it, a person who lives in the urban area. City people in general are more polite, live a healthier lifestyle (or not, since some of them just went into bars and strip clubs), and possess a lot of technological gadgets. They drive in cars, buy stuff from stores and even the Internet, and to compare their music to hillbillies, they made techno music. Techno is essentially about synths, bass drops, and sometimes wildly fast rhythm, while hillbilly music involves banjos and other string instruments. Therefore, it is evident that city people live a lot more modern life than hillbillies. They can shop online while hillbillies didn’t have knowledge to the Internet yet. However, there is a similarity that both city people and hillbillies drive cars. The only difference is that city people have expensive sports cars, while hillbillies have busted old cars that are still functional. And finally, to cap this essay, I have a lot to say that city-dwellers are way more advanced than hillbillies, but they’re all humans after all. Therefore, we should not judge people by their looks, just like judging a book by its cover.


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