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What is the best way to (how can you) compare and contrast Revelation by Flannery...

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floater | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted December 3, 2009 at 3:18 AM via web

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What is the best way to (how can you) compare and contrast Revelation by Flannery O'Conner and Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison??

It would be helpful to describe what to compare and contrast about the two stories.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 3, 2009 at 3:42 AM (Answer #1)

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Both protragonists are blind to the truth because they think they are being singled out for something special.  Mrs. Turpin thinks she is receiving a revelation; with its religious connotations, she falsely thinks she is spiritualyl "saved," above the others in the office.  The Invisible Man thinks he is being honored as a guest speaker, when in fact, he is reduced to a blindfolded boxer who is duped into the ring.

Both stories put "niggers" at the bottom of the racial and socio-economic ladder.  As they were written in the Jim Crow South, both stories show the effects of racism, segregation, exploitation.  "Revelation" mainly shows internal racism; no aggressive acts are committed.  "Battle Royal" shows how the white men bait and dupe blacks into enacting violence against themlseves by using hope and promise as a red herring.

The reader is unsure what each protatgonist, Mrs. Turpin and the Invisible Man, has learned by the end of each story. O'Connor leaves it up to the reader to decide what Mrs. Turpin's revelation is.  Likewise, Ellison leaves his story open ended, as the narrator is haunted by the words of his grandfather, "Keep that nigger boy running!"

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