FOR A LOVE OF THYSELF
In "Revelation," Flannery O'Connor describes a controlling, self-righteous, hypercritical woman named Mrs. Ruby Turpin. Her heart rejoices with gratitude to Jesus for making her the way she is. She is proud of herself and thankful for a perfect life and all that she has. She believes she is a respectable, hard-working, church-going woman who lives a righteous life. She categorizes others, who do not live according to her standards, as low class trash. For example, she occupies her mind at night comparing herself to the different classes of people. At one point, she even toils with the different classes in her head. She dream they all were put together in a boxcar and put in a gas oven to be destroyed. However, she is thankful to God for making her the way she is. But the revelation of her double standard, two-edge sword attitude comes when she meets Mary Grace in the doctor's office.
While waiting for the doctor, Mary Grace reads a book titled, Human Development. Mrs. Turpin observes and critically judge everyone in the waiting room, as Mary Grace observes her. Tuned into Mrs. Turpin's every word, Mary Grace becomes increasingly angry with her. She cannot restrain herself and throws the book she reads at Mrs. Turpin. Mary Grace's action leads Mrs. Turpin into a zone where she meets herself. After the vision God reveals to her, disappointment and confusion consume her perfect mind. She still does not see a need to change.
The story begins with Mrs. Turpin entering a doctor's waiting room with her husband, Claud, who has been kicked by a cow. As she and Claud wait, she takes a hard look at the other people in the room. As she views the waiting patients, she categorizes each...