Comparing Judgment Day in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and O’Connor’s Revelation

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Judgment Day in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and O’Connor’s Revelation

Mankind is plagued by pride. Humans constantly compare themselves to one another and adjust their pride according to their observation of themselves in the world around them. Those who believe in an afterlife often incorporate their view of themselves and their morality into their perception of how they will be judged in the afterlife. Fyodor Dostoevsky and Flannery O’Connor, as writers and believers in the Christian religion, portray two characters that envision how they will be judged on judgment day. In “Dostoevskian Vision in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Revelation,’” Norman McMillan effectively argues that O’Connor’s “Revelation” and the chapter about
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His self-identification with these types of people clearly shows that Marmeladov is humble and believes that despite his sinfulness, he will be summoned to heaven. Using characterization, detail, and the actual text, McMillan supports his interpretation of the theme, which is that the sinners and lower class people of this world will be invited into the kingdom of heaven before the righteous because of their humility.

Using the same techniques, McMillan supports his interpretation of the theme of “Revelation.” First, Mrs. Turpin is characterized by a string of adjectives: “a smug, complacent, shallow, narrow-minded, self-righteous bigot” (McMillan 18). Then, McMillan summarizes her role in the story and reinforces his claim about her character by presenting how she responds to her circumstances. In the doctor’s waiting room, Mrs. Turpin judges each person in the waiting room according to their wealth and race, and thanks God that she has a wonderful life and that she is not “white trash” or a “nigger” (O’Connor 490). Her prejudice and self-righteousness is highlighted when Mary Grace, a college girl sitting in the waiting room, launches her book at Mrs. Turpin’s face. It is only through this act of violence that Mrs. Turpin begins to change and finally has her final revelation. After this climax in “Revelation,” O’Connor focuses on Mrs. Turpin’s

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