Revelation by Flannery O'Connor Essay

1426 WordsApr 11, 20136 Pages
Revelation [Name of Student] [Name of Institute] Revelation Introduction "Revelation" is a short story by Flannery O'Connor. It was published in 1965 in her short story collection Everything That Rises Must Converge. O'Connor finished the collection during her final battle with lupus. She died in 1964, just before her final book was published. A devout Roman Catholic, O'Connor often used religious themes in her work. "All my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopeless and brutal."—Flannery O'Connor. In reality, her writing is filled with meaning and symbolism, hidden in plain sight beneath a seamless narrative…show more content…
Ruby's blatant racism, her smug complacency, her haughty bearing and cruel condescension have long since repelled us. Plump and pleasant though she may be outwardly, Mrs. Turpin is morally ugly inside. O'Connor's characters often have symbolic names (Martin 191-92). Some of them are based on the lives and legends of Christian saints (Jauss 76). In "Revelation" there are several important ones, all derived from Latin. The title, of course, means "to uncover or unveil," from revelare. In a sense, the names of individuals in the story "reveal" their nature. Both Ruby and Turpin come from Latin. The root rub-denotes "red"; the noun rubor means "redness," but it also may be translated "blush" or "shame." Turp- denotes "ugly or base"; the adjective turpis indicates "disgraceful or shameful." Mary Grace's second name, from gratia, is an unmistakable indication of the author's now-famous "moment of grace" theme in fiction (Dowell 235-39). It is noteworthy that the girl's two names are juxtaposed in the Latin devotional prayer: Ave Maria gratia plena . . . ("Hail Mary, full of grace . . ."). Even Ruby's husband, Claud, has his name from a Latin adjective, claudus, meaning "lame." He is not only actually lame ("he has an ulcer on his leg . . . a cow
Open Document