Revelation Questions and Answers
by Flannery O’Connor

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What is the significance in the story of the continual reference to pigs and hogs, and how are they a metaphor enhancing the theme of "Revelation"?

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Pigs, hogs, and even warthogs are used symbolically in various ways in Flannery O’Connor’s short story titled “Revelation.” Among those ways are the following:

  • They function as symbols of pride.  Mrs. Turpin takes pride in raising pigs, just as she takes pride in so many other details of her life and personality. She is a fairly prosperous pig-farmer and is up-to-date on all the latest innovations in the field (such as concrete pig-pins). O’Connor, who continually mocks pride in her stories, must have enjoyed the humor of creating a person who took pride, of all things, in pigs. Since pigs have usually been regarded as among the least appealing of animals (at least until they become ham and bacon), O’Connor would have enjoyed the extreme irony of making a human being proud of her association with pigs.
  • Whereas Mrs. Turpin is proud of her pigs, she is rather judgmental and condescending toward most of the other people around her (except her beloved husband, Claude, whose name...

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