Flannery O'Connor's Revelation

Flannery O'Connor's Revelation

Length: 1691 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Flannery O'Connor's background influenced her to write the short story “Revelation”. One important influence on the story is her Southern upbringing. During her lifetime, Southerners were very prejudiced towards people of other races and lifestyles. They believed that people who were less fortunate were inferior to them; therefore, people were labeled as different things and placed into different social classes. The South provided O'Connor with the images she needed for her characters.

This can easily be identified in her short story “Revelation.” The characters in the story are identified by physical characteristics and some are even identified with racial terms. The main character in the story is actually prejudiced and makes many statements using racial jargon. For example, Mrs. Turpin, the main character, refers to the higher class woman as “well-dressed and pleasant”. She also labels the teenage girl as “ugly” and the poor woman as “white-trashy”. When Mrs. Turpin converses with her black workers, she often uses the word “nigger” in her thoughts. These characteristics she gives her characters definitely reveals the Southern lifestyle which the author, Flannery O'Connor, was a part of.

In addition to her Southern upbringing, another influence on the story is Flannery O'Connor's illness. She battled with the lupus disease which has caused her to use a degree of violence and anger to make her stories somewhat unhappy. The illness caused a sadness inside of Flannery O'Connor, and that inner sadness flowed from her body to her paper through her pen. Although she was sick, O'Connor still felt proud to be who she was. By comparison, Mrs. Turpin in “ Revelation” has a good disposition about herself. She is far from perfect, yet she is happy to be who she is.

Perhaps the most important influence on the story is religion. O'Connor was not only influenced by her own Catholic heritage but by others as well. Like the other writers from France and England, she is curious about the actuality of sin and the effect that it has on the presence of mankind. Her stories and every characteristic about them was Flannery O'Connor's way of showing reality and qualities that are determiners of fate and destiny. No matter which path her stories took her readers, they mostly ended up finding social truth. This background, together with a believable plot, convincing characterization, and important literary devices enables Flannery O'Connor in “Revelation” to develop the theme that sometimes people must look farther than the surface in order to understand the actions of others.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Flannery O'Connor's Revelation." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Flannery OConnor: A Twentieth Century Fiction Writer Essay

- There has been a significant amount critical analysis written about Flannery O'Connor's short stories and novels. There is a significant amount critical analysis about Flannery O'Connor because she used so many styles that have not been used before. Flannery O'Connor ranks among he most important American fiction writers of the twentieth century. Flannery O'Connor was born in 1925 in Savannah, Georgia, and lived there until her family moved in 1938. O'Connor and her family moved to a small Georgia farming town named Milledgeville....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
819 words (2.3 pages)

Flannery O’Connor's "Revelation" and the Power of Religion Essay

- Flannery O’Connor believed in the power of religion to give new purpose to life. She saw the fall of the old world, felt the force and presence of God, and her allegorical fictions often portray characters who discover themselves transforming to the Catholic mind. Though her literature does not preach, she uses subtle, thematic undertones and it is apparent that as her characters struggle through violence and pain, divine grace is thrown at them. In her story “Revelation,” the protagonist, Mrs. Turpin, acts sanctimoniously, but ironically the virtue that gives her eminence is what brings about her downfall....   [tags: Flannery O’Connor, Revelation, ]

Research Papers
1325 words (3.8 pages)

Flannery O'Connor's Revelation Essay

- Flannery O'Connor's background influenced her to write the short story “Revelation”. One important influence on the story is her Southern upbringing. During her lifetime, Southerners were very prejudiced towards people of other races and lifestyles. They believed that people who were less fortunate were inferior to them; therefore, people were labeled as different things and placed into different social classes. The South provided O'Connor with the images she needed for her characters. This can easily be identified in her short story “Revelation.” The characters in the story are identified by physical characteristics and some are even identified with racial terms....   [tags: Flannery O'Connor Revelation]

Free Essays
1691 words (4.8 pages)

Mrs. Turpin in Flannery O’Connor’s Revelation Essay

-      Mrs. Turpin in Flannery O’Connor’s short story Revelation, is a prejudice and judgmental woman who spends most of her life prying in the lives of everyone around her. She looks at people not for who they are, but for their race or social standing. In fact, Mrs. Turpin is concerned with race and status so much that it seems to take over her life. Although she seems to disapprove of people of different race or social class, Mrs. Turpin seems to be content and appreciative with her own life....   [tags: O’Connor’s short story Revelation]

Research Papers
636 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Revelation, by Flannery O'Connor

- In Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation” a woman, as the title implies, who experiences a revelation. Pigs are an important symbol in the protagonist’s, Ruby Turpin’s, revelation. Throughout Ruby’s journey to her revelation, pigs appear frequently in “Revelation” and are important to Ruby’s revelation at the end of the story. Pigs reflect several aspects of Ruby’s life, primarily her perceptions. Ultimately, pigs reflect Ruby’s true character throughout the entire story. Early in the story, when Ruby is talking to the people in the waiting room, Ruby describes that she has “a little bit of everything” (O’Connor 475)....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Pigs]

Research Papers
1488 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Flannery OConnor

- Flannery OConnor In her short story "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Flannery O'Connor allows the story to be told from the perspective of Julian, a recent college graduate who appears to be waiting for a job, while living at home with his mother. His relationship with his mother is rocky at times, to say the least. It is constantly mired with conflicts about the "Old South" and the "New South". Julian must come to terms with himself, either he is an over protective son or just a pain in her ass....   [tags: essays papers]

Research Papers
805 words (2.3 pages)

Revelation Flannery O’Connor Essay

- In the short story “Revelation”, Flannery O’Connor shows that self-discovery can be a painful but ultimately rewarding process to go through. The story is written in third-person and feels like it has no rising action and then out of the blue a climax comes. The characters in this story are not very likable, especially the protagonist Mrs. Turpin. She is an egotistical, self-praising woman whom O’Connor describes as a big. Her image of herself is of a person who is blessed by God above all others....   [tags: mrs turpin, god, mary]

Research Papers
631 words (1.8 pages)

Good Country People by Flannery OConnor Characterization as Theme Essay

- Good Country People by Flannery OConnor Characterization as Theme The Depth of Hulga?s Despair Characterization is the most prevalent component used for the development of themes in Flannery O?Connor?s satirical short story ?Good Country People.. O?Connor artistically cultivates character development throughout her story as a means of creating multi-level themes that culminate in allegory. Although the themes are independent of each other, the characters are not; the development of one character is dependent upon the development of another....   [tags: essays papers]

Research Papers
902 words (2.6 pages)

Revelation by Flannery O'Connor Essay

- Revelation by Flannery O'Connor The story opens with Ruby Turpin entering a doctor's waiting room with her husband Claud who has been kicked by a cow. As she and Claud wait, she takes hard stock of the other people in the room. There was some white-trash, a "red- headed youngish woman" who was not white-trash, just common, a well-dressed, pleasant looking lady, and her daughter, an ill-mannered ugly girl in Girl Scout shoes with heavy socks who was reading a book titled Human Development. Listening to the Gospel song playing on the radio in the background, Mrs....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
631 words (1.8 pages)

Mary Flannery OConnor Essay

- Mary Flannery O'Connor is one of the most preeminent and more unique short story authors in American Literature (O'Connor 1). While growing up she lived in the Bible-belt South during the post World War II era of the United States. O'Connor was part of a strict Roman Catholic family, but she depicts her characters as Fundamentalist Protestants. Her characters are also severely spiritually or physically disturbed and have a tendancy to be violent, arrogant or overly stupid. (Garraty 582) She mixes in her works a full-fledged gothic eeriness with an authentic feeling for the powers of grace and redemption....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Free Essays
904 words (2.6 pages)

Related Searches

To develop this theme, O'Connor creates a believable plot by using a social conflict, the element of surprise, and an unhappy ending. The main social conflict that appears in this story is not determined until a good portion of the story has passed. There are, however, incidents that build up to the actual conflict.

The story “Revelation” has a major and a minor social conflict. The minor conflict is between Mrs. Turpin and a white-trash woman. This conflict is born because Mrs. Turpin believes she is in a higher class than the white-trash woman. The white-trash woman is unintelligent and uneducated, and Mrs. Turpin is repulsed when she speaks and interrupts her conversation with someone else. The major social conflict is between Mrs. Turpin and a teenage girl across from her. This conflict is built up over the course of the story through rude gestures and facial expressions given by the teenage girl. For instance, Mrs. Turpin makes a comment about a clock. The girl looks at the clock and smirks which was followed by another smirk toward Mrs. Turpin. Mrs. Turpin also acknowledges a look the girl gives her as the “ugliest face she has ever seen anyone make” (O'Connor, 394). It was like the girl has known and disliked Mrs. Turpin all her life.

Another element of plot which reinforces the theme of “Revelation”, is the element of surprise which actually brings the main conflict out in the open. O'Connor brings the conflict out well because the incidents that built up to the actual conflict do not give away what is going to happen. The action around the conflict is completely surprising and unpredictable. We are aware the girl dislikes Mrs. Turpin because of her previous actions. The girl never does anything other than give dirty looks; therefore, we are not expecting any type of physical violence between them. When the girl hits Mrs. Turpin in the face with the book, Mrs. Turpin is conversing with another character and is not talking to the girl. In this situation, a violent act by the girl is completely unpredictable.

Also, O'Connor uses an unhappy ending for this story. Mrs. Turpin, who is happy being who she is, does not understand why the girl hated her. She does not think she is a bad person, and she cannot comprehend why she is not liked. O'Connor ends the story with Mrs. Turpin's questions unanswered which leaves her with a sadness that is unsolvable. Through the use of social conflict, the element of surprise, and an unhappy ending, a believable plot is created. To further develop the theme, O'Connor uses consistent behavior, clear motivation, and plausibility to create convincing characterization. The protagonist, Mrs. Turpin, is convincing because she consistently curious and involved in conversation. She is also consistently observant of the other characters.

Over the course of the story, Mrs. Turpin does not change; therefore, she is a static character. O'Connor's characters are victimized and are images of lower intelligence. Mrs. Turpin, however, does appear to be of average intelligence. Her behavior in the story mirrors the Southern image given to her by O'Connor. In the beginning of “Revelation,” Mrs. Turpin is a polite and outgoing individual, and these are characteristics that remain with her. In addition to consistent behavior, Mrs. Turpin is convincing because she is mainly motivated by her insecurity. Her motivation for appearing at the doctor's office is clearly because her husband is injured. She also feels a need to observe the other patients so she can draw conclusions as to why they are there. Mrs. Turpin is a friendly and curious woman which explains her continuous conversations with anyone who will listen. Even though she notices the hatred given off by the teenage girl, she continues to act ignorant of it. A possible motivation for her continued talking could be that she is deterring from a confrontation. Another characteristic of Mrs. Turpin is her plausibility. In this story, she is very plausible because her personality and characteristics model those of a lifelike person. She is curious and observant just like everyone else and she also enjoys a friendly conversation.

O'Connor makes Mrs. Turpin an average Southern citizen with an average Southern attitude. With these characteristics given to her, Mrs. Turpin has become a plausible protagonist in the story “Revelation.” Through consistent behavior, clear motivation, and plausibility, convincing characterization of the protagonist is developed by O'Connor. O'Connor's use of important literary devices such as symbolism and foreshadowing allow her to reinforce the theme. Many think of O'Connor's writing as humorous. In most of her stories, she uses a technique that is, for the most part, comic. Humor is one way O'Connor masks what she is actually trying to say. She was considered a tragic ironist which wasn't understood by some people. O'Connor's stories also include much symbolism like in her story “ Revelation.” In this story, there are several points of symbolism. The teenage girl extremely dislikes Mrs. Turpin from the beginning of the story to the end of the story. Her dislike grows throughout the story and then erupts like a volcano. When her anger erupts, she throws a book at Mrs. Turpin. This book symbolizes her hatred toward Mrs. Turpin. It symbolizes her hatred because in a book, the plot develops and builds up over the course of the book. This is exactly what her anger did toward Mrs. Turpin. The book is not the only symbolism in “Revelation.” In the doctor's office, there are several types of people. These different types of people symbolize the different types of social classes. For example, the white-trashy woman represents the lowest class with uneducated intelligence, the well-dressed woman represents a class of higher standards and intelligence along with an educated background, and Mrs. Turpin represents a middle, working class with average intelligence and educated background. Another literary device O'Connor uses is foreshadowing. The facial expressions and actions of the girl show a conflict between her and Mrs. Turpin. Specifically, the smirks given toward Mrs. Turpin and the grunts made when Mrs. Turpin speaks were the rude gestures from the teenage girl. The increase of these rude gestures foreshadows a confrontation between the two, but the actual time of the confrontation is unclear.

In conclusion, symbolism and foreshadowing are two important literary devices used by O'Connor in “ Revelation.” After analyzing how the author's background, the plot, and the literary devices contribute to the development of the theme of “Revelation”, one understands why this story rates high on the literary scale of value. “ Revelation” was a doorway for Flannery O'Connor. She used this doorway to reveal her beliefs and disbeliefs about mankind and the mysteries that it beholds. O'Connor was influenced many ways throughout her lifetime and it was her writing that helped her deal with the problems she faced and the things she believed in. “Revelation” was just one of her many stories that served as a translator of her past. It was through this story that O'Connor revealed her outlook on prejudice and the effects that some people had on the human race. O'Connor achieved her purpose because she successfully portrayed her characters in the manner most suitable to convince her readers. O'Connor needed to express her concern and curiosity toward life and death, mainly death. She might have also been looking for a way to cope with death by writing her stories. “ Revelation” was her way of suppressing her anger toward people of lower standards. She suppressed her anger by writing what she thought about them; therefore, releasing herself from the anger she felt. She was a Southern writer, and from this writing habit she rec.

Return to 123HelpMe.com