In "Revelation," Flannery O'Connor leverages humor and violence as methods of humbling her main character, Mrs. Turpin.
When we meet Mrs. Turpin, we're introduced to a larger-than-life woman whose lofty ideas about class and social rank inform all her interactions. We know this because O'Connor treats us to Mrs. Turpin's inner monologue—an alternating stream of scathing commentary toward others and constant affirmation of her own virtues. She twists her deeply classist, racist perspective into an ongoing celebratory toast to herself, grateful and proud to be the very best person she knows.
Like Mrs. Turpin's ironic inner monologue, much of the rest of the humor in this story is centered around contrasts. For example, O'Connor uses language to impart a great deal of physicality into the narrative. She does this to highlight the contrast between Mrs. Turpin and the environment around her. She isn't just larger-than-life in her own mind—she's described as a physically imposing woman who...
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