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Mamma Tried Essay

1047 words - 5 pages

In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Revelation” she uses a daughters rage at the judgmental Ruby Turpin to revel how shallow people are. Although Mary Grace’s mother is not named Mrs.Turpin automatically zeroes in on her to have a conversation with. She identifies others in the waiting room as and the "ugly girl", the "stringy old fellow", the "thin leathery old woman" (637), and a "white-trashy" (635) mother and child who were "[w]orse than niggers any day. By Mrs.Turpin’s descriptions of the occupants we see she judges all by wealth. Because she and Mary Grace’s mother fit into her social bracket she deems it appropriate to converse with her (Dumas 1).
Her gaze settled agreeably on a ...view middle of the document...

Turpin saw was entitled Human Development. The girl raised her head and directed her scowl at Mrs. Turpin as if she did not like her looks. She appeared annoyed that anyone should speak while she tried to read. The poor girl's face was blue with acne and Mrs. Turpin thought how pitiful it was to have a face like that at that age. She gave the girl a friendly smile but the girl only scowled the harder. Mrs. Turpin herself was fat but she had always had good skin, and, though she was forty-seven years old, there was not a wrinkle in her face except around her eyes from laughing too much.
Once given Mrs.Turpin’s description of Mary Grace the contrast between mother and daughter is obvious. Unlike her mother’s pleasant personality Mary Grace seems to be annoyed. It is also apparent by the presence of the Human Development book that Mary Grace is educated. This also might have an effect on the description the reader is given of Mary Grace because as an uneducated person Mrs.Turpin cannot understand why Mary Grace wants to sit and read. The best insight into Mary Grace’s personality comes from her reaction to Mrs.Turpins smile. By scowling at Mrs.Turpin, Mary Grace seems to see below the surface and know that Mrs.Turpin is superficial and judgmental of all people she encounters. (Westling 513)
As the story continues the reader gains a better knowledge of the mother/daughter relationship. When Mary Grace ignores Ruby’s question her mother instantly tells her she was asked a question to which Mary Grace replies “I have ears”. By answering her mother with a snide remark O’Connor shows that Mary Grace is not just a sour, angry person but also has a since of humor but lacks respect towards her mother. May Grace never answers Mrs.Turpins question but allows her mother to speak for her. As her mother speaks about Mary Grace’s education a since of...

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