Taylor Bryant
Theology 100
Professor Giltner
20 November 2014
Preci #4
In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Revelation,” she makes it clear that she believes self-righteousness is more than just morally wrong, but also that it is usually entirely unjustified. O’Connor makes this clear from the beginning, as she sets up the mood of the story by having Mrs. Turbin in a doctor’s office waiting room judging everyone else in the room with her, putting them into “categories” for fun.
From here, the sense of self-righteousness only increases. One of the other patients in the waiting room attempts to start talking to her in a friendly manner, and she refuses to give her the time of day. The lady continues to try talking to Mrs. Turbin, prompting her to think to herself, “ought to have got you a wash rag and some soap,” implying that she considers this woman to be inferior to her
O’Connor uses nature as a tool for revelation in this story as well as Parker’s Back, and in this case it is presented by gazing into a pig parlor. While she is staring into the parlor, she becomes incredibly frustrated and even goes as far as to ask God, “Who do you think you are?” In addition to this, after she has calmed down a bit from her initial rage, she continues to stare at the highway with “all her muscles rigid… as if she were absorbing some abysmal life-giving knowledge” confirming that she has experienced revelation.
Self-righteousness has caused the human race to go through too many tragedies, as it is at the base of everything from slavery to the Holocaust. By eliminating feelings of self-righteousness, we eliminate people like Mrs. Turbin at the beginning of the story from the mix.