How the Society Influences a Person
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Ruby Turpin is a pharisaical women. She thanks God for making her who she is, thankful she is not white trash or a black woman. She leans not on God’s will, but her own logic about people. She believes that she, a white person with a good disposition, will clear the path to heaven for the lesser. Her knowledge does not rest upon the will of God, but on the racist environment she lives in. Ruby Turpin is a closet racist, she loves to categorize people and put them in boxes. It is the environment she is surrounded with that influences her actions. But the influence around her is not invincible. Ruby Turpin has been given the capability to break out of her mold and become something more. She has been given by God a chance to become a better Christian.
A culture and way of life are engraved into your being from the beginning of your birth. A hypocritical culture, like that of the South, creates an interesting conflict of ideas and beliefs. The ordinary Southerner is a Christian who worships God every Sunday; one believes that at the end of time, God will judge them by looking at all his lifetime’s deeds, both good and bad. But he is also born into an environment that has a lot of prejudice. These opposing values, one symbolizing charity and brotherhood and the other representing an elitist culture, are taught and engraved in the South. Ruby Turpin believes she is a good Christian women but participates in the old southern pastime of racism. She believes that she is not racist, but is shocked to see blacks leading the way into heaven. She treats the black helpers like idiots, putting on a mask to cover her true prejudices and beliefs. It takes the spontaneous outburst of Mary Grace for Ruby Turpin to be shaken out...
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