The hillbilly is a rural character who lives in the mountains. The hillbilly is independent, self-reliant, and is slow to adopt the more modern aspects of today’s society. The hillbilly has a simpler lifestyle, and usually has little in the terms of income, so the hillbilly relies on his or her ingenuity to ensure he or she acquires the means for life to be pleasant. The hillbilly may be less educated, and rely more on common sense and lived experience, rather than abstract theories and philosophies. The hillbilly is adventurous, and enjoys exploration, with a strong connection to nature. The hillbilly can also be creative, playing the banjo and other simple instruments, singing folk songs.
The portrayal of hillbillies can vary with the genre or level of reliance on the hillbilly stereotype the writer has selected. The hillbilly could be portrayed as a quick witted, down to earth character or as a less intelligent, violent character. The hillbilly could be portrayed as wild, risk taking and adventurous. The hillbilly could also be portrayed as a family oriented, traditional character with good morals. Hillbillies may have a rural accent or speak with a rural regional dialect.
One example of the family oriented, traditional hillbilly is the story of Sergeant York, a conscientious objector who later went into the First World War, with a film that retells his actions. Hillbillies can be seen in American folk movies, horror movies, documentaries, television, and can be sporadically placed in other genres. Hillbillies also hold a notable presence in folk and country music. It is important to note many people who live in “hillbilly” areas such as the Appalachians, do not appreciate the term. With enough practice, you can voice a convincing hillbilly yourself.