'Rhetorical Devices In Flannery O Connor's Revelation'

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Authors use rhetorical devices to persuade and convey readers to see things their way. They specifically use them to emphasize the themes in their writing. In the short story “Revelation”, Flannery O’Connor uses the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos to bring about the theme of religion. She uses her familiarity with Catholicism, factual evidence about the character’s reality, and sympathy towards Mrs.Turpin to enhance her short story. Her use of a familiar religion allows the reader to feel comfortable knowing that O’Connor is writing about a known topic.
Flannery O’Connor employs her ethos in the form of her personal experience. First of all, she is an authority on the circumstances used in her short stories. O’Connor’s work was …show more content…

This is specifically done by instilling common Catholic values into her disposition. Foremost, Mrs.Turpin constantly expresses her desire to be the best person possible. In fact, if she was offered “better” lives, she would not choose them unless she’d remain the good woman she currently is. This is clearly evident when Mrs.Turpin explains, “If Jesus had said, “You can be high society and have all the money you want and be thin and svelte-like, but you can’t be a good woman with it,” she would have had to say, “Well don’t make me that then. Make me a good woman and it don’t matter what else, how fat or how ugly or how poor!” (Meyer 458). Ruby Turpin places a serious emphasis on being a good person; she even believes that it is a person’s best quality. This is very characteristic of the Catholic religion: the goal to be the nicest, best version of yourself at all times. Furthermore, Mrs.Turpin never skips a chance to thank God for all that she has. She knows that she is lucky especially when she compares her life to those around her. Even when it comes to talking about her shortcomings, she emphasizes that she’s been blessed nevertheless. Mrs.Turpin never really needs an excuse to thank God for everything and anything. This is evident when Mrs.Turpin tells another woman in the waiting area that, “If it’s one thing I am, it’s grateful. [...] I …show more content…

The most prominent moment of empathy for the reader occurs when Mrs.Turpin is randomly attacked by Mary Grace. Before the attack on Mrs.Turpin, the two women would eye each other in the waiting room. Ruby was confused as to why the young girl singled her out in the room full of others worthy of her criticism. She exclaimed to herself that there’s no reason for her to be giving her dirty looks; she hasn’t done anything to her (Meyer 458). No one feels good when they get singled out by someone and they begin to wonder what it is they did wrong. It certainly feels worse when the person criticizing is a stranger. One definitely starts to believe that maybe they’re mistaking you for someone else who did them wrong. This can be attributed to feeling that someone who themselves is not perfect has no right to judge others. O’Connor may have wanted readers to conclude that the only person Mrs.Turpin wants to judge her is Jesus himself. This concept can be linked to the Catholic belief that Jesus is the only who can truly judge us and our actions. Readers feel sympathy for Mrs.Turpin when they learn of the aftermath of the vicious attack. Her injuries are described as “two little moon-shaped lines [...] indented over her windpipe [with] the beginning of an angry red swelling above her eye” (Meyer 461). After learning how close she was to being choked to death, the reader is shocked by how

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