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Grace Changes Everything Essay

982 words - 4 pages

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then shoes must be the windows to one’s class. According to Mrs. Ruby Turpin, the main character in a short story by Flannery O’ Connor called “Revelation,” she can pretty much sums up a person’s worth by looking at their shoes. Mrs. Turpin thinks her class is higher than most because she is white and she owns a home and land. The evidence begins when she and her husband Claud enter a crowded waiting room at a local doctor’s office. She immediately begins to size up the occupants. She orders her husband to sit in the only empty chair because his leg needs care. She comes across as having a very dominating personality. She turns her focus on a dirty ...view middle of the document...

Mrs. Turpin is not actually a bad woman. She is, in fact, a good woman trying to please her God. She is the product of her time and religious teachings. She is a Southern woman who has been raised to be a white elitist who takes pride in what she owns. She thinks possessions will aid in her good graces to enter into heaven and be at the head of the line. She crazily daydreams about having to choose other classes and races and readily praises God for her own race and class each day. She wishes to be virtuously clean and wholesome if she has to choose any other class or race. She would rather be African American than “white trash.” Various virtues and values have been instilled in all of us from childhood. In John Sykes book, Flannery O’ Connor, Walker Percy and the Aesthetic of Revelation, he writes: “From Aristotle to McIntyre, thinkers have insisted that no set of virtues can be sustained without a community to nourish them” (153). Mrs. Turpin is simply blind to her own thoughts. In Michael Meyer’s The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, Flannery O’Connor herself explains her stance on religion when she says: “It seems to be a fact that you suffer as much from the Church as for it but if you believe in the divinity of Christ, you have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it” (407).
Then grace changes everything. Mary Grace has a sudden outburst of anger. The resentful teenager can no longer tolerate the self-righteous behavior of Mrs. Turpin. “Why can’t the heavenly Miss Jerusalem just shut up” writes Amy-Jill Levine in her book A Feminist Companion to the Apocalypse of John (88). This is a pretty fair assumption of what Mary Grace is thinking when she can no longer stand the bigot in the room. Mary...

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