Thematic Comparison Of ?Revelation?, ?A Good Man

1544 words - 6 pages

A woman assaulted, a car accident ending with the car on its side, and an execution of an entire family make up images commonly found in horror stories or movies but rarely found in humor. Yet Flannery O?Connor, a female writer in the mid-1900?s, found a way to incorporate them into her religiously themed short stories. Her stories ?Parker?s Back?, ?Revelation?, and ?A Good Man is Hard to Find?, contain a multitude of common themes amongst each story, ranging from self image and relationships, to racism and religion, all incorporating bizarre humor.?Revelation? has a main character, Mrs. Turpin, who ?was very large? (338), and has a husband ?somewhat shorter than Mrs. Turpin? and ?accustomed to doing what she told him to? (339). ?Parker?s Back? has a male character, Parker, who is a man of color, covered in tattoos. Both characters struggle to improve their self image, which drives their actions.Mrs. Turpin begins the story in a doctor?s office where she ?remained standing? for the first few moments. From the second she arrives, she makes herself the center of attention. Sitting her husband Claude down, she announces to everyone his ailment, an ulcer on his leg. Upon sitting herself down she announces, ?I wish I could reduce?, referring to her physical size. She then proceeds to make herself known to the other patients waiting in the lounge as if they could have missed her. We can deduce that she has a poor self image and that she does this to feel accepted. Also, throughout her wait, she thinks to herself various thoughts such as ?What if Jesus had said, ?All right, you can be white-trash or a nigger or ugly?!?(341). This shows an attempt to make her feel better about herself by thinking herself better than the aforementioned parties. These thoughts reappear many other times and explain her torment after the ?fat girl? assaults her spontaneously. Although to the reader the picture of a fat, blemish covered girl attacking a large lady with a book may be amusing, Mrs. Turpin agonizes over it. The simple phrase ?Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog.?(347) remains embedded in her mind simply because she has spent so much energy convincing herself of her good self-image; it is then thrown into confusion.Parker has the same ailment. He has been a dissatisfied man his entire life. He spends his life trying to model himself after, ?a man in a fair, tattooed from head to foot? (355) who ?filled [him] with emotion? (355) when he was fourteen. It is evident that he has little self confidence, a large factor in his self-image; the only solitary driving force in his life was his desire to like the man from the fair, to be tattooed. ?Whenever Parker couldn?t stand the way he felt, he would have another tattoo?? (355). It is apparent that he, like Mrs. Turpin, feels a need for acceptance; tattoos helped him feel that way. ?He found out that the tattoos were attractive to the kind of girls he liked but who had never liked him before?(365). When...

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