'Hypocrisy In Flannery O Connor's Revelation'

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In her short story, “Revelation”, Flannery O’Connor discusses what it truly means to be a good person, despite society’s common perceptions. She uses the theme of hypocrisy to highlight that someone may have a positive appearance to the rest of the world, but their motives can reveal that they are not who they seem. O’Connor conveys this message to her audience by using various types of rhetoric and symbolism. Like many of her other stories, she uses religion to show that god is judging our actions, and that one’s true values cannot be faked. By using the main character’s connection to god, O’Connor also builds artificial credibility for her main character of the story: Mrs. Turpin. These religious morals, however, contrast with Mrs. Turpin’s …show more content…
Turpin's religious views and her rude and selfish actions, readers can gather Ruby’s real disposition. Throughout the story, Mrs. Turpin says one thing but really means another. To others she might appear to be a polite and kind lady, but by giving the reader insight into her thoughts, O’Connor stresses a paradox in her personality. In the beginning of the story, for example, Ruby passes several harsh judgements on the fellow patients. She constantly sees herself at a higher standard than the other characters, especially a woman who she thinks is white-trash. In one of their conversations, the woman mentions how she wouldn’t want to own hogs since they are messy, to which Mrs. Turpin thinks, “Cleaner by far than that child right there...poor nasty little thing” (456) and, “You wouldn't have no hog to scoot down” (456). Although she does not say these things out loud, the reader can conclude that she is not being genuine with the woman. Instead what she actually says to the woman is that, “They’re cleaner than some children I’ve seen. Their feet never touch the ground” (455). This shows she does not say everything she thinks, but also serves as a piece of symbolism. By saying that, “the hog’s feet never touch the ground,” O’Connor is discretely comparing them to Mrs. Turpin. Since she has vain and arrogant view of her status compared to others, she feels she is above them, much like the hogs and the ground. Another demonstration of Mrs. Turpin’s …show more content…
One way she does this is through Ruby Turpin’s cruel depictions of others. When she is first surveying the waiting room and all of the fellow patients, she sees the young girl reading her book. Throughout the story she refers to her as the “ugly girl” as O’Connor illustrated, “The poor girl’s face was blue with acne and Mrs. Turpin thought how pitiful it was to have a face like that at that age” (453). The obvious judgement of a grown woman towards a young adolescent girl, makes the reader feel bad for the teen. By putting down others, even if it is just in her head, Mrs. Turpin comes off as bully, causing empathy for all of her victims. O’Connor strategically does this to teach her readers how hurtful passing unnecessary judgements can be. In the story Flannery O’Connor even writes, “...though she thought it was one thing to be ugly and another to act ugly” (455). Although Mrs. Turpin thinks this about the teenage girl, this really serves as a symbol for the story’s overall theme of acting hypocritically to how you appear. Contrastingly, O’Connor also brings pity upon Mrs. Turpin at the end of the story as her character progresses. After being attacked by the teenage girl, it is not the physical abuse that hurts Ruby, but the words that she utters to her after. As the doctor is pulling the girl away, she orders, “Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog” (460). Ruby pines after a reason for

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