Paper on Flannery O’Connor
Flannery O’Connor famously tends to use mentally disturbed or criminal characters as unlikely prophets in the lives of her protagonists. This is clearly demonstrated as The Misfit in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” puts the hypocritical grandmother within an inch of her life and Mary Grace in “Revelation” literally knocks Ruby Turpin back into reality.
First of all in “Revelation” Mary Grace doesn’t appear to be a significant character but as the story progresses she slowly becomes more relevant. At first she is simply just another patient in a doctor’s office, the same one Ruby Turpin and her husband happen to be in, waiting to see the doctor. It becomes evident towards the end of the story that Mary Grace, whereas she is obviously mentally disturbed, she becomes Ruby’s saving grace by telling her she is “an old warthog from Hell.” This makes ruby realize, or have a Revelation if you will, that she isn’t any better than anyone else and that maybe, just maybe, she is worse than others. Furthermore, Kathleen Feeley goes on to explain that “Mary Grace, a fat Wellesley student with acne and obvious emotional problems, becomes a prophet of salvation for Ruby Turpin.” Just the description of the girl makes her seem like an unlikely prophet, not to mention her psychological issues. Hearing such an accusatory, and rude statement from a girl she had never met before makes Ruby reevaluate her life and her own personality.
Then in “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the Grandmother turns out to be the improbable prophet of God. She is put within inches of life by The Misfit but she gives him a message