The Turkey By Flannery O ' Connor

1085 Words5 Pages
At first glance, Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “The Turkey”, appears to be no more than a fictional account of a young boy’s struggles as he attempts to catch a lame turkey and the events that follow his capture of it. However, upon closer and more thoughtful inspection of the story, especially Ruller’s constant soliloquy, it is easy to see how O’Connor could have written “The Turkey” to be a biblical allegory. The actions and reactions of Ruller, an eleven year old boy who serves as the main character, resemble those of the Israelites throughout the Bible, especially those in the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges. Through Ruller, we see the reoccurring reactions of the Bible’s people as God blesses and curses them. By nature, humans are incredibly selfish creatures who easily become indignant when they do not receive what they believe they deserve. In “The Turkey”, Ruller’s main goal is to capture a wounded turkey to bring home to his family with the hope that his parents will be proud of him; however, this goal proves hard for Ruller to accomplish. Not only does the turkey manage to evade him for most of the story, Ruller also suffers minor injuries in his attempt to capture the bird. After nearly knocking himself unconscious by accidentally running into a tree, Ruller notices that the turkey has gotten away from him (O’Connor 58). He then becomes quite petulant and begins to act out by swearing and acting in a sinful nature, finding it especially amusing when he takes the Lord’s name in vain. In the Bible, this is an incredibly common response of the people whenever God does not provide them with everything they desire or feel that they are entitled to. In the book of Numbers, a verse concerning the Israelites reads,... ... middle of paper ... ...disobedience; however, God complies with their wishes and gives them what they ask for. God’s actions are explained in the book of Daniel by a verse that reads, “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” (Dan. 9:9). Although it is a fictional short story, Flannery O’Connor’s “The Turkey” portrays the reality of human nature extremely well, especially in relation to God. Many of Ruller’s actions and reactions are parallel to those of the Israelites, who are God’s chosen people in the Bible. When he feels blessed, Ruller loves God; however, when he feels he has been cheated, he becomes indignant and curses God, much like the Israelites do throughout the Bible. Through an immature boy, O’Connor effectively shows the selfish and conditional love most humans have for God; thus, “The Turkey” can be seen as a biblical allegory.

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