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How does Mrs. Turpin's treatment of her husband help to characterize her in "Revelation"?

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nipplopolous | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 14, 2010 at 11:07 AM via web

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How does Mrs. Turpin's treatment of her husband help to characterize her in "Revelation"?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 14, 2010 at 11:46 PM (Answer #1)

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Claude is a cuckold. From the very beginning of the story, when he and his wife, Mrs. Turpin, are in the doctor's office, she tells him where to sit:

"Claud, you sit in that chair there," and gave him a push down into the vacant one.

Claud then proceeds to do what his wife tells him because he is "used to doing what she told him to do."

Later, Claud tries to stand up, but his wife immediately yells at him to sit back down, that he is not supposed to be standing on his sore leg. When another patient speaks to Claud and asks him what has happened to his leg, Mrs. Turpin does not give him a chance to respond, but answers for him - "He got kicked by a cow."

After the girl attacks Mrs. Turpin, Claud is overcome after trying to help her and left struggling on the floor. When Mrs. Turpin comes to, she asks for him, and tries to find him - illustrating that she is controlling. When they go home, go to bed and then wake up, Mrs. Turpin orders Claud to kiss her, which he dutifully does.

Mrs. Turpin is an overbearing woman and a shrew and her treatment of her husband is used by the author to reinforce these aspects of her character.

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