Equality and Superiority in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Revelation,” Flannery O’Connor

Equality and Superiority in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Revelation,” Flannery O’Connor

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O’Connor’s main characters, the Grandmother and Mrs. Turpin, both considered themselves superior to those around them. But self-righteousness transforms them into arguably better people when they are confronted with reality. In the stories “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Revelation,” Flannery O’Connor uses the theory of hypocrisy in class, race, and religion to show that in the end, we may learn that we are all equal as god’s imperfect creations.
In the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the Grandmother is a manipulator who basically controls the fate of her family for her own personal gain. From the beginning of the story, the Grandmother tries to make things go her way. The family wants to take a road trip to Florida, but the Grandmother wants to go to Tennessee to see some relatives. To make it seem like it is for the safety of the family she brings up the news about the Misfit escaping and going towards Florida. She says she “wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it” (404). The Grandmother really does not expect to meet the Misfit on their trip, but uses the news as a sincere reason. While on the trip, the Grandmother remembers an old plantation she visited when she was a “young lady” (408). She wants to go see it, but she knows Bailey does not want to waste time. She tells the kids that “there is a secret panel … that all the family silver was hidden in” (408). The Grandmother’s self-righteousness then prevents her from speaking up when she realizes that the plantation of her memory is not the one they are visiting now. She remains selfish, fearing that Bailey would reprimand her, so she does not attempt to resolve the situation. By not speaking up, O’Connor makes this an irrevers...


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...t she says really fixates in Mrs. Turpin’s mind, she gets offended by the statement but can not comprehend it. She is indignant, claiming that since she cares for and provides for hogs on her farm, how can she possibly be compared to one? To display her superiority, she “blindly [points] the stream of water in and out of the eye of the old sow whose outraged squeal she did not hear” (426).
In both stories “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Revelation,” O’Connor makes the reader question their own actions, by asserting the point that even in times of self-righteousness and truthfulness, humans often usually act out of self preservation and selfishness. In the scenarios with both the Grandmother and Mrs. Turpin, while their actions may appear to signify positive and beneficial changes to their personalities, they are actually acting in the most selfish ways possible.

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