Flannery O’Connor short story entitled “Revelation” was swayed by her personal upbringing in the South. She lived in the time where people from the South were very intolerant and narrow-minded towards people who had a different lifestyle and who were of a different race. Because Southerners believed people who did not live up to their wealth or status were inferior, it offered O’Connor the exact descriptions she wanted for the characters in this story. The main character in this story, Mrs. Turpin, is extremely prejudice and uses many terms of racial terminology.
All of the characters in this story are well-known by their physical looks, and some are well-known by the racial terms used in the story. Mrs. Turpin said that the higher class women were “well-dressed and pleasant. ” Another time she refers to a poor woman as “white trashy” and a teenage female as “ugly. ” We are able to understand the lifestyle of the South that Flannery O’Connor was a part of in her childhood by her choice of words in this story. An example, when Mrs. Turpin would talk to her black laborers. There seems to be a major and minor social divergence in the story.
The minor conflict is between the “white trash” woman and Mrs. Turpin; the problem stems from Mrs. Turpin thinking that she is in a higher class than this particular “white-trash” woman and most people. Mrs. Turpin is disgusted because the “white-trash” woman interrupted Mrs. Turpin’s conversation with someone else. In the story we are given the image that not only is the woman “white-trash” but she is uneducated and unintelligent. This is another example made clear to the readers of the background of O’Connor because the character is not given a real name but a disparaging title.
The major conflict of this story occurs with the teenage girl and Mrs. Turpin. The conflict is not given away at one point in the story but gradually develops between the two women with many different facial expressions given by the teenager. Mrs. Turpin says that the girl gave her, “The ugliest face she has ever seen anyone make. ” The action that occurs because of the conflict is something the readers did not see coming, which makes the story an even better read. The teenage girl hits Mrs. Turpin in the face with a book while she is in conversation with someone else.
With this action, O’Connor was able to use an unfortunate finale for this story. Mrs. Turpin was confident in who she was as a person; she believed that she was merely good and could not understand why she is not liked. The story ends with all of Mrs. Turpin’s questions being unanswered and that leaves her with a sadness that is insoluble. Through the use of the conflicts created in the story there is the element of astonishment, a sad ending, and an authentic plot. The characters of this story are bullied and seem to be descriptions of lower intellect.
On the contrary, Mrs. Turpin is supposed to appear to be of common intellect. The conduct of Mrs. Turpin really emulates the image O’Connor was given in the South. Mrs. Turpin is a very nice individual and extremely sociable and she observed the people around her and started conversations with anyone who would listen. Another characteristic of Mrs. Turpin is her plausibility, she seems to be this way because her actions exemplify a believable person. O’ Connor makes Mrs. Turpin to be the exact model of a “Southern Citizen” with the same attitude of a Southerner.
O’Connor did a great job of using many literary devices, mainly symbolism, which helped her emphasize the theme of this story. Mrs. Turpin is extremely disliked by teenager from the beginning of the story all the way to the end of the story. The teenagers dislike for Mrs. Turpin propagates as the story continues and then seems to explode at the end which resulted in the action of hitting Mrs. Turpin. The book being thrown at Mrs. Turpin possibly symbolizes the distinctive types of social classes; the well dressed woman Mrs.
Turpin converses with is a educated and high standard individual; and the “white-trash” woman is a uneducated and a low class individual. Another literary device used in this story is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing was seen by the teenage girl making facial expressions towards Mrs. Turpin. These actions showed a struggle between the two women. As the story continues the increase of these disrespectful actions foreshadows a disagreement between Mrs. Turpin and the teenager. In conclusion, foreshadowing as well as symbolism are the most important literary devices used by Flannery O’Connor in “Revelation. ”