Flannery O Connor: An Analysis Of Racism And Self-Righteousness

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The Works of Flannery O’Connor: An Analysis of Racism and Self-Righteousness The ego is a force of the human mind since its beginning. The ego is what drives us to reach our potential, no matter the area of achievement. However, many times our ego can prove to be our downfall when we let it get the better of us. Especially in today’s age of racism in society, it is evident how the ego attributes to personal self-righteousness. Although prominent in the modern times of society, how has the ego affected literary works and their messages to their respective audiences. Moreover, how has self-righteousness and racism been portrayed in the works of fiction as the concepts progress? Author Flannery O’Connor has not been known to shy away from these …show more content…

The moment you feel entitled is the moment you feel superior and distance yourself from a humble heart that believes God knows what he is doing.” (Goodreads) This quote by Shannon L. Adler perfectly describes the character of Mr. Turpin in Revelation. In the story, Mrs. Turpin believes herself to be held to a higher standard that the “white-trash” or “niggers” because of the way that she carries herself in her day to day life. Of course, this proves to her downfall. As we see in the work, Mrs. Turpin gets both a physical and a spiritual revelation. In the doctor’s waiting room, as Mrs. Turpin is gloating about her life and stature in society, Mary Grace throws a book at Mrs. Turpin and assaults her while saying, “Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog.” (Revelation 393) Further in the story, we see how God truly gives Mrs. Turpin a revelation to show how her actions are meaningless in her Christian walk, and that she must give up on her self-righteous attitude. This self-righteous attitude is what attributes to Mrs. Turpin’s downfall, and leads to her unproclaimed actions following her vision. However, what if one was not self-righteous about their own actions, but instead where they came from? Or when they came …show more content…

She gives the elderly spiel of “back in my day”. She talks all about how “a good man is hard to find”, alluding to the fact that the way her generation was brought up is superior to the generations prior. Although this is not primarily an attitude of self-righteousness, there is an attitude of superiority, which utterly leads to the downfall of the old woman and her family. As the family continues down to Florida, the old woman is determined to show her family that her generation is far better than their own, so she insists they go to visit an old home that she grew up in. Upon doing this, the family finds themselves in a car accident. While no one is hurt, they are found by a trio of criminals. One by one the family is picked off as the woman not only attempts to save herself, but pleads with the criminal to turn from his murderous ways, begging him to be “a good man”. After the final shot is fired, the tables are turned on the woman, with the criminal saying, “She would’ve been a good woman, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.” As readers analyze this, they can see how the woman’s self-righteous attitude of her own generation, led to not only her own death but to the ones she loved as well. This type of attitude can push loved ones away, which is something the works warns of. In this analyzation of O’ Connor’s works, it is plain to see that she did

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