Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Flannery O’Connor composed a short story entitled, “Revelation” revealing Southern superiority. During O’Connor’s time, prejudiced against other races were at a high. Southerners believe other races were beneath them; therefore, they treated them different and called them racial slurs. Mrs. Turpin is an example of Southern superiority, where she feels superior to other races and existences. She believes she’s entitled and privilege because she has a little more than the next person. When Mrs. Turpin had a violent encounter with Mary Grace, she begins to question God about the revelation. Throughout this story, O’Connor characters generated racism and judgment.
Flannery O’Connor begins “Revelation” with Mrs. Turpin at a doctor’s office with her husband, Mr. Turpin, waiting for treatment on his leg. They were looking for a seat, but a dirty little boy took them. As she sits in the waiting room, she looks around at the other visitors, determining if they’re white trash or not. She does this by judging their shoes. Mrs. Turpin began having a conversation with the child’s mother, who she referred to as, “white trash”. In Mrs. Turpin mind, this woman doesn’t have any class and uneducated. An African- American man approaches the nurse’s desk, Mrs. Turpin and the woman begin to degrade African Americans. White trash stated that African-Americans need to be “sent back to Africa (386)”. Mrs. Turpin made the comment “there’s a whole heap of things worse than a nigger (386)”. Mrs. Turpin feels, she is superior to blacks and poor people because she has a big house and money; therefore, in her eyes other races including white trash are beneath her. She never calls her farm helpers by their names, she referred them as “niggers” and “idiots”. She prays every night to Jesus, thanking him for not making her black or trashy. In Mrs. Turpin beliefs, she ensured she handled things in a good Christian way.
The conflict of the story is with Mary Grace and Mrs. Turpin. Mrs. Turpin were having a conversation with Mary Grace’s mother. In Mrs. Turpin thoughts, Mary Grace was an unattractive girl with acne. Mary Grace appeared to be annoyed, every time Mrs. Turpin said something. In the mist of this, Mrs. Turpin questioned herself “what if Jesus said you can be a white trash or nigger or ugly (384)”. She has casual thoughts like this, it constantly something negative about the next person. Mrs. Turpin continues the conversation with Mary Grace’s mother. Mary Grace at this point is fed up, she slams her book close and begins staring Mrs. Turpin down. The reader would assume that Mary Grace personally knew Mrs. Turpin, the way she stared at her evilly.
Mrs. Turpin begin to believe the girl didn’t like her, she whispers “I haven’t done anything to you (387)”. Mrs. Turpin believes she has “her confused with someone else”. As Mary Grace continues to stare evilly at Mrs. Turpin, she tries to strike a conversation, asking Mary Grace about school and books. Mary Grace didn’t engage in the conversation. Mary Grace mother mention to Mrs. Turpin that Mary Grace is very ungrateful. Mrs. Turpin starts praising Jesus for her gratefulness and accomplishment in life. It shortly ended, when Mary Grace hurled the book, Human Development at Mrs. Turpin head and started choking her. Mrs. Turpin was beyond confused. She asked Mary Grace “what do she have to say to her”. Mary Grace told Mrs. Turpin “Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog (389)”. After the confrontation, Mrs. Turpin and her husband went home.
The story goes on with Mrs. Turpin reminiscing on what happen at the doctor’s office. Mr. and Mrs. Turpin lays in bed, as she repeat in her mind what Mary Grace called her, “wart hog from hell”. She believes she was the wrong person, who Mary Grace took her angry against. The farm helpers thought Mrs. Turpin had fallen. They insist that nothing could happen to her. As Mrs. Turpin proceed to tell the farm helpers about what happened, she grew annoy by their compliments. Mrs. Turpin couldn’t talk to them because she thinks they’re idiots and not smart. Her husband took the farm helpers’ home, Mrs. Turpin decided to spray the hogs down. As she spray the hogs, she question God, why did he send her a message? She soon had a vision, she seen a swinging bridge of sunrays make an entrance into heaven; whereas, the people who were beneath her: black people and white trash were rapture in heaven before her. The vision will give the reader the impression that all people are equal in God’s eyes.

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