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The Theme of Revelation
Judgement can occur in a very blaten or not so obvious way, in this work it is obvious to the reader that Mrs. Turpin is a hypocrite. Almost everyone has judged or been judged sometime in their life. Judgement can not occur without hypocrisy. In the short story “Revelation”, by Flannery O’Connor, judgement and hypocrisy occur through out the theme of the work.
Flannery O’Connor shows the judgement in “Revelation” right off the start. A far from perfect woman enters a doctors waiting room, “There was a vacant chair and a place on the sofa occupied by a blond child in a dirty blue romper” (O’Connor 424). Mrs. Turpin immediately enters the waiting room and begins judging people. Her husband, Claud, has an ulcer on his leg from where a cow had kicked him. Mrs. Turpin explains to the room that Claud has to sit for he was kicked in the leg by a cow.
Mrs. Turpins next victim is a fat girl of eighteen or nineteen, “The poor girl’s face was blue with acne” (425), the girl was reading a book titled Human Development. The child in the dirty blue romper was sitting next to the fat girl. Mrs. Turpin is a very hypocritical person, she has only judged people so far in the work. She seems to compare people to herself or things she would do. Mrs. Turpin, not exactly being a poster child for a perfect person, is trying to keep a woman, who she describes as white trash, out of the conversation that she was having with the stylish lady. The white trash woman had snuff-stained lips and she was wearing bedroom slippers. Mrs. Turpin is sure to see this lady as a person with lack of self-respect.
Being the hypocrite that she is, Mrs. Turpin goes on to judge everyone in the room. The fat ugly girl realizes what Mrs. Turpin is doing and despises her for being that way. The way that she can talk about other people is disturbing. The woman tells the ugly girl “Girl, I have not done anything to you!” (431). Mrs. Turpin asks the girl if she was in college. With no response from the girl, the girl’s mother answers for her “Mary Grace goes to Wellesly College, in Massachusetts.” (431).
As Mrs. Turpin and the woman carried on a conversation the fat ugly girl makes a noise through her teeth that lets the room know that she is not happy. The girls’ mother says,
“I think the worst thing in the world is an ungrateful person. To have everything and not appreciate it. I know a girl who has parents who would give her anything, a little brother who loves her dearly, who is getting a good education, who wears the best clothes, but can never say a kind word to anyone, who never smiles, who just criticizes and complains all day long” (432).
Mrs. Turpin goes on to explain how grateful she feels that she is not this way. As she was saying this the girl through a book that struck Mrs. Turpin directly over her left eye. Before she could utter a sound, the raw face of the girl came crashing across the table toward her howling. The girl’s fingers sank like claws into the soft flesh of her neck. At that moment the nurse ran followed by the doctor. They pinned down the girl and inserted a large needle in to the girls arm.
As Mrs. Turpin went home she thought about what had happened in the doctors waiting room. Mrs. Turpin could not get what the girl had said to her out of her mind. She went out to the pig parlor and relieved Claud of his duties; she finished hosing down the pigs. Mrs. Turpin was talking to herself trying to understand why the girl had done such a thing to her. In the end she realizes that she was wrong about everything and that she should change her ways.
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