Flannery O’Connor’s 1953 masterpiece “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is more than just a story of murder, nor is her 1965 classic “Revelation” simply a story of life of a wealthy landowner who was choked by a violent teenage girl. …
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The bitter epiphany that the Grandmother and Ruby Turpin have experienced in these stories reflects the journey of every human being toward coming to terms with himself. Moreover, in the stories, the Grandmother and Ruby Turpin share a number of similarities and differences in terms of character, experience and various other aspects.The Grandmother and Ruby Turpin share a number of similarities in terms of character and other aspects. First of all, they are both bigots. The Grandmother, in fact, is a “hypocritical old soul” (Bandy 109). As the oldest character in the story, she seems to show to Bailey, his wife and the children that she possesses the greatest wisdom and the deepest connection with Jesus Christ. However, the irony is that she is the most afraid among the characters when the Misfit shows up. While the rest of the family are curious about the Misfit and his friends, the grandmother is the first one who “shrieked [and] scrambled to her feet [and called out] “You’re the Misfit!” (O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” 306). This particular line simply shows how fearful she is of what can possibly happen to her and the rest of the family.The Grandmother’s hypocrisy in her faith in Jesus Christ also shows when, even as she calls out Jesus’ name, she offers the Misfit a bribe. ...
You’re one of my own children” (309). Nevertheless, this last attempt of the Grandmother at survival turns out to be the exact opposite of what she actually wants. Perhaps she thinks that by mentioning God, the Misfit will not kill her, but she is wrong. Ruby Turpin, just like the Grandmother, is simply “bigoted and complacent” (Paquet-Deyris 1). She keeps mentioning to everyone in the room, or at least make them feel, that she has “a little of everything” – land, property, slaves, hogs – thus implying that she is better than them (O’Connor, “Revelation” 89). The phrase “a little of everything” seems like a humble way of saying “I have a lot” but it is the latter meaning that she wants to make everyone feel. Moreover, like the Grandmother, Ruby also has this seemingly religious image which she flamboyantly projects upon everyone she sees. However, unlike the Grandmother who uses Jesus’ name as a sort of attempt at survival, Ruby seems to invoke the holy name out of pride. Toward the middle of the story, she mentions, “I thank the Lord he has blessed me with a good [disposition]” (91), and “Oh thank you, Jesus, Jesus, thank you” (92). This last line, however, has cost her a lot as we all know. Perhaps Ruby thinks that everyone is impressed with her just because she tells everyone how close she is to Jesus. Little does she know that Mary Grace is not the least impressed. Mary Grace knows that beneath the cloak of this “respectable, hardworking, church-going” follower of Jesus Christ lurks an evil that looks down on everyone (94). And indeed Mary Grace is right about Ruby Turpin – the latter is full of prejudices against people in general. In fact, Ruby has indeed proudly ranked herself as a
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