.. er. Julian is a person very unlike his mother. He wants to be different from his mother because she represents everything from the South which affronts his sense of decency and decorum (Browning 101). He is a college graduate and is very much in touch with himself. You could also say that he is also a very open minded person that knows what kind of world he lives in (OConnor 341).
He makes it a point opposing his mother all the time and trying to bring her head down from the clouds to the harsh reality that she does not live in the plantation anymore with the all of the slaves around. Furthermore, he is always looking for a way to teach his mother a lesson, and he usually would prefer a cruel one (Brinkmeyer 70). Julian has images of violence a few times in the story, as he could smack her as he would his own child, only he would smack her with pleasure (OConnor 347). Another example of Julians evil is when he gazes at his mother, and describes her as being purple-faced, shrunken to the dwarf-like proportions of her moral nature, sitting like a mummy beneath the ridiculous manner of her hat (OConnor 347). Julians gaze is cruelly reductive, distorting his mother into a thoroughly grotesque figure (something is made clear throughout the story that she is not) devoid of humanity (Brinkmeyer 70). OConnor presents Julian as the evil one in this story, which relates to the Misfit in A Good Man Is Hard to Find.
The fact that the black lady is wearing the same hideous hat shows us that there is a mixing of cultures; things are not the same as they used to be. The colored lady seems to have an attitude on the bus, although the mother does not see it in any aspect. She soon finds this out when she tries to give the child a penny, and the black lady swings at her with her purse, knocking the mother down. Again, OConnor uses the element of evil to foreshadow that something tragic is about to happen. Julian feels superior to his mother after this incident, until he realizes that she is having a stroke. The mother dies shortly after the black woman knocked her down.
Julian feels sorrow and guilt when he realizes the events that have taken place, and he realizes that what he detests about his mother, he also loves and longs for (Browning 101). OConnor displays her remarkable technique in writing by changing Julian to a spiritual character at the end of this story. An evil sense is present throughout this story at all times. However, Flannery OConnor did not use her consummate skill when describing the mother as an ordinary person with narrow thoughts and visions (Magill 736). Generational Conflict, racial confrontation, and sudden deathare all theredisplaying themselves either as tawdry and mean spirited or as absurdly comic (Magill 736). Flannery OConnors short-story Revelation, tells another story about a protagonist woman who has a racial and class bias. However, Revelation does not involve a death or a sudden surprise at the end of the story.
Ruby Turpin, the protagonist of Revelation, is sitting in a doctors lobby waiting for treatment on Clauds (her husband) leg. As she is waiting she talks with some of the other patients who are also waiting on the doctor. Mrs. Turpin talks with a few of the patients, and she becomes overwhelmingly annoyed with a Wellesley student who has her eyes fixed on her with an evil look (OConnor 366). Mrs.
Turpin did not think much of the girl, Mary Grace, thinking to herself how ugly and fat she was (OConnor 366). She also classified the lady sitting next to Mary Graces mother as white trash, and was fortunate of how lucky she was to not be a nigger or white trash (OConnor 366-367). The reader soon realizes that Mrs. Turpin is usually self-centered, and thinks that she is in an elite class of people. Mary Grace displays her anger towards Mrs. Turpin by throwing the book in her hands at Mrs.
Turpin, in which it strikes her over her left eye (OConnor 372). Again, OConnor displays violence in her writing to give Mary Grace an evil character. However, this act of evil and violence was brought on by Mrs. Turpin, who was putting down niggers and white trash (OConnor 365-371). Mary also displays another act of evil by telling Mrs. Turpin to Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog (OConnor 372). As Mrs.
Turpin thinks about this incident later in the story, she becomes angry and cannot stop thinking about what happened in the doctors office that day. This is a strong showing of the presence of spirituality-versus-evil in Revelation. To explain, Mrs. Turpin is racist and expresses herself to others as a snobbish, stuck-up woman while being aware of her surroundings and consequences. However, she is a person that believes in God, which is another commonality in OConnors works.
We have seen the protagonist of every story discussed earlier as having some sort of spiritual belief in God. Mrs. Turpin has an underlying trait that takes on an important role in Revelation: she attempts to dominate not only race and class, but also other men and women (Havird 15). This role is important because this gives her character evilness, which is combined with her spirituality. This causes extreme conflict in her inner self. At the end of the story, OConnor uses a symbol, in which the reader thinks to be heaven.
OConnor foreshadows this when Mrs. Turpin talks to God, asking him why he sent such a message to her when there are so many more people who are more deserving (377). Furthermore, she visualizes a bridge and sees all of the black people and the white trash, but she only sees their souls (OConnor 377). Lastly, she sees herself at the bottom and begins to question herself if she is one of Gods chosen ones. As she leaves this vision of peace, she can only hear the voices of the souls singing hallelujah. Unlike A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge, Revelation displays OConnors ability to let the reader make up their conclusion at the end of the story.
Revelation differs slightly when discussing spirituality-versus-evil in A Good Man Is Hard To Find, and Everything That Rises Must Converge because it has a stronger spiritual side. The main reason for this is because OConnor wrote this with religious implications of OConnors Biblical allusions in the story (Schroeder 75). OConnor has a strong background in religion, and this influenced almost, if not all of her works. Another spiritually-versus-evil trait in Revelation is the fact that Mrs. Turpin might not be one of Gods chosen (Schroeder 79).
This piece was mainly influenced on OConnors beliefs, which reflect her moral faults (Schroeder 79). In conclusion, Flannery OConnor uses many commonalities in her short fiction articles A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Everything That Rises Must Converge, and Revelation to show both sides of spirituality and evil. Although the spirituality-versus-evil theme is not actually written in these stories, OConnor makes it very clear through the use of foreshadowing that the terror of Satan and the good will of God are present. OConnors belief in Christianity helps us explain why she uses such themes as spirituality and evil. Our time concerns not religion so much as religionbut as radical Christological belief (Wood 1).
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