Book 'em

Jeremiah 1:4-10; Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30

In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Revelation,” Ruby Turpin is sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, evaluating each person around her. Ruby judges herself to be superior, by more than a grade or two, to everyone there, especially to a poor, unkempt, teenaged wretch seated across from her who is reading a book. Ruby thinks it sad that the girl’s parents did not groom her more attractively. Perish the thought of having a child as scowling as this one.

As for the “ugly” child, Mary Grace, she listens for a while as Ruby chatters outloud about the superiority of poor blacks over “white trash.” Then, without warning, Mary Grace fixes her steely eyes on Ruby and hurls her book across the room. The book hits Ruby in the head and she falls to the floor with Mary Grace on top of her hissing into her ear, “Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog!”


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