’conner Essay, Research Paper
Before even reading or hearing about Flannery O Connor s background, I thought that she was a he and his works would be about the Irish in the 40 s and 50 s. So it was a quite a shock to learn that Flannery was a) a woman and b0 she writes about life in the South.
She spent most of her life in the South in a Christian household, which finds its way into her work. Revelation was written in 1965 and focuses on one day in the life of Ruby and Claude Turpin. The very title of the story brings us back to the revelation stories in the bible whether it s the book of Revelation or the Book of Daniel. Throughout the story religious references are made from Ruby s Tower of Babel like vision at the end or the numerous church references. If we really wanted to reach and go into a conspiracy theorist thinking, Jesus was buried in the Shroud of Turin. If you drop the p from Ruby s name you get Turin. No that that is really reaching.
From the start of the story Ruby live up to her image of a big domineering woman who wears the pants in the marriage. According to Marshall Bruce Gentry in an essay titled Gender Dialogue in O Connor, Ruby Turpin of Revelation is a good example of females overcoming patriarchal authority through primitive strategies. She appears to suffer a chastening on the course of the story, but she can also be read as a creator of an alternate, unorthodox, personal religious system that gives her as much control over her life as men have over hers.
Indeed the waiting room scene, until the outburst by Mary Grace, is like that which any reader might have had. Sitting in a packed waiting room, making polite conversation because it s awkward not to do so, comparing your self to the other patients, everyone does it. Especially when the frustration of waiting sets is.
Through Ruby s inner dialogue we can see Flannery s background peeking through. Whether or not Flannery actually thought like Rudy I don t know, but the language of the time is definitely present. The frequent use of the words Negroes, and nigger, while not normal outside of specific groups, is openly used by the patients of the doctor.
Ruby is so clouded by her belief that she is better that everyone else in the waiting room, she fails to see her faults until she is beaten by Mary Grace, who just can t take her elitist behavior anymore. What we can take out of the beating, according to Edward Kessler in Flannery O Connor and the Language of the Apocalypse is that, No one is good, even if he appears to be good.
After the beating sets in for a while she begins to see her faults and as Marshall Bruce Gentry states in Flannery O Connor s Religion of the Grotesque, Ruby Turpin [ ] dreams repeatedly that all the social classes are crammed together in a box car, being ridden off to be put in a gas oven, and in her final vision she manages to see herself on a fiery pathway to heaven. Mary Grace s goal, if it was to knock some sense into Ruby, had paid off.