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Comparing and contrasting Short Stories: “Good Country People” and “Revelation”

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Mary Flannery O’connor wrote two short stories entitled “Good Country People” and “Revelation”. O’conner displays similarities between the characters and the differences in the role they play at the end of their stories. Inside the two short stories are four characters, Joy and Manly Pointer from “Good country people” and Mary Grace and Mrs. Turpin from “Revelation”.

Consider the similarities between Joy and Mary Grace, the nineteen-year-old teenager with sever acne problems. O’conner describes both women having bright vividly blue eyes. Her eyes icy blue, with the look of someone who has achieved blindness by an act and means to keep it (O’conner, Country 417). Like Joy, Mary Grace’s eyes become brilliantly blue when she attacks Mrs. Turpin with her thick blue book. They seemed a much lighter blue than before as if a door that had been tightly closed behind them was now open to admit light and air (O’conner, Revelation 452). She also describes Joy as being a large woman with an apparent affliction. Joy was her daughter, a large blonde girl who had an artificial leg (O’conner, Country 416). Mary Grace’s description is the same. Next to her was a fat girl of eighteen or nineteen, scowling into a thick blue book which Mrs. Turpin saw was entitled Human Development (O’conner, Revelation 444).

Although Joy and Mary Grace compare immensely, they contrast drastically in age and roles played in their stories. Examine the differences between Joy and Mary Grace. Joy is a much older woman than Mary Grace. It was hard for Mrs. Hopewell to realize that her child was thirty-two now and that for more than twenty years she had had only one leg (O’conner, Country 418). O’conner characterizes Mary Grace as A teenager of eighteen or nineteen years old. The final contrast between Joy and Mary Grace is their position at the end of the two stories. Joy Becomes a victim to a young man named Manly Pointer who deceived her in a hayloft. When after a minute she said in a hoarse high voice, “All right,” it was like surrendering to him completely. It was like losing her own life and finding it again, miraculously, in his (O’conner, Country 428). In contrast to Joy, Mary Grace becomes a preditor and throws a thick blue book at an overly deceptive woman named Mrs. Turpin. The book struck her directly over her left eye. It struck almost at the same instant that she realized the girl was about to hurl it (O’conner, Revelation 450).

Mary Flannery O’conner creates to very separate characters, Joy and Mary Grace that share many physical attributes and contrast at the end of their respective stories as one becomes a victim and the other a preditor. Manly Pointer from “Good Country People” and Mrs. Turpin from “Revelation” are of equal value to Joy and Mary Grace in comparison and contrasting, but they do not share physical attributes, they share similar identities.

Explore the nature, in comparison to Manly Pointer and Mrs. Turpins’ false identities in relation to a Christian based faith. Manly Pointer is a prime figure to describe as deceptive as he makes his way into Mrs. Hopewells’ home. He was a tall gaunt hatless youth who had called yesterday to sell them a Bible. He had appeared at the door, carrying a large black suitcase that weighted him so heavily on one side that he had to brace himself against the door facing (O’conner, Country 420). Manly Pointer is described as a self-righteous Christian selling Bibles. Along side of Manly Pointer is Mrs. Turpins’ descriptive comparison. She displays herself as a well-mannered, gentle spirit blessed by Jesus. When I think who all I could have been besides myself and what all I got, a little of everything, and a good disposition besides, I just feel like shouting, ‘Thank you Jesus, for making everything the way it is’ (O’conner, Revelation 451). This describes also Mrs. Turpin as self-righteous and forgiving.

In contrast to Manly Pointers’ Christian crusades to make the world a better place by selling his bibles, he exposes whom he really is, a preditor. He leaned the other way and pulled the valise toward him and opened it. It had a pale blue spotted lining and there were only two Bibles in it. He took one of these out and opened the cover of it. It was hollow and contained a pocket flask of whiskey, a pack of cards, and a small blue box with printing on it (O’conner, Country 428). Manly Pointer thus reveals his Identity. Mrs.Turpin is in equal value to Manly Pointer exposing her identity when she becomes a victim in her story. The message had been given to Ruby Turpin, a respectable, hard working, Church going woman. The tiers dried. Her eyes began to burn instead with wrath (O’conner, Revelation 453). Mrs. Turpin exposes her true identity.

Mary Flannery O’Connor’s’ characters Joy and Mary Grace are compared as a fat, physically afflicted blue eyed female while Manly Pointer and Mrs. Turpin share similar identities that reveal themselves in the end. In contrast, her characters exhibit different endings to their stories.

Works Cited

O’conner, Flannery, Mary. Good Country People. 1955.

—Revelation. 1965.

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