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Animal Analysis: The Role of Pigs in O'Connor's "Revelation"

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Compact Bedford definition of a character
  3. The pigs: Characters and antagonists
  4. Mrs. Turpin's trouble comprehending how she is like a hog
  5. Conclusion

"Despite her brief life and relatively modest output, [Flannery O'Connor's] work is regarded as among the most distinguished American fiction of the mid-twentieth century," writes Michael Meyer, author of The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature (317). One of the many reasons her work is so remarkable is because of her utilization of literary devices, such as characterization and symbolism. A prime example of this is the pigs in her short story "Revelation". Even though they are just animals, O'Connor makes the pigs in this story function as symbols, characters, and even antagonists.

[...] Animal Analysis: The Role of Pigs in O'Connor's "Revelation" "Despite her brief life and relatively modest output, [Flannery O'Connor's] work is regarded as among the most distinguished American fiction of the mid-twentieth century," writes Michael Meyer, author of The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature (317). One of the many reasons her work is so remarkable is because of her utilization of literary devices, such as characterization and symbolism. A prime example of this is the pigs in her short story "Revelation". [...]


[...] This is because pigs are traditionally thought of as dirty animals, and the one quality that Mrs. Turpin thinks the lower classes embody most is dirtiness. She constantly says how dirty the lower classes are. For instance, at the doctor's office, she describes the "white-trashy" woman's clothes as "gritty-looking" and her hair as "dirty yellow" (343). And later, when the same woman tells Mrs. Turpin that she bought jewelry with her green stamps, Mrs. Turpin replies to herself that she "ought to have got [you] a wash rag and some soap" (341). [...]

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