Mrs. Turpin's Human Development: The Story Of Mary Grace

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In trying to answer question number five, I consider a short review of the story to be in order, and I must apologize for repeating racist words that are used in the story. Thirty percent of the story is set in the waiting room of a doctor 's office where Mrs. Turpin has taken her husband, Claud, for treatment. It is here that she occupies her thoughts by placing the occupants of the waiting room into what she considers to be their positions in life, using clichés which clearly reveal her view of the world in which she finds herself. She is aided in these activities because the waiting room is filled with people from several different social categories. Present are the "lady" and her daughter, Mary Grace, who is reading a book entitled Human Development. Also present are an elderly gentleman, a mother and a child whom Mrs. Turpin considers "white and trashy," an old woman, and a younger woman, "not white trash, just common." Mrs. Turpin 's naive hypocrisy…show more content…
Though Mrs. Turpin is already "saved" because of her Christian faith, she needs a revelation from Mary Grace to realize that her world view is inconsistent with her Christianity. Mrs. Turpin asks Mary Grace, during her seizure, "What you got to say to me?" and waits, "as for a revelation." This question reflects Mrs. Turpin 's self-absorbed nature, since rather than feeling concern for the girl 's health she is focused on how the girl 's actions and attitude relate to her. But it also implies that Mrs. Turpin recognizes Mary Grace 's closeness to God in that moment, and her desire for a revelation (which she receives, though it is bizarre and not what she expected). These words inspire Mrs. Turpin 's revelation at the end of the story, when she sees herself, Claud, and those of equal socioeconomic status bringing up the rear of the procession to Heaven. Though they are saved, they must follow those whom Mrs. Turpin has considered beneath
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