Epiphany: Novel and Rises Must Converge

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The experience of one being awakened to unforeseen thoughts or ideas is generally known as an epiphany. Many of Flannery O’Conner’s writings which comprises of tragic events that eventually lead his characters into appalling situations, ultimately serves as an example of some sort of revelation or epiphany to the character. One example of O’Conner’s writing that depicts such theme is the short story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” which tells of the story of a recent college student, Julian escorting his mother to a weight-loss class. The two characters reveal contrasting and distinct viewpoints towards racial discrimination. In their encounter with a black mother and her child on the bus, their behaviors incited conflicting impressions towards each other, which ultimately lead to confrontation and hostility. Another of O’Conner’s writing, the short story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” tells of a family on vacation to Tennessee. During their trip, the grandmother convinced the family to visit a nearby plantation. However, she soon realized she was mistaken of the location of the plantation. This fatal error leads the family into a secluded forest, where they encounter The Misfit. While O’Conner concludes both stories, with a revelation of the characters in both stories, “Everything That Rises Must Converge” portrays clearer and more distinctive epiphanies of the characters than “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. In “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” the effect of the epiphanies of the characters was longer lasting and had a greater impact on the reader. O’Conner presented false impressions and tension between the mother and Julian through acts of violence. These acts of violence in the story serve as an epiphany because it demonstrated the results of condescending behavior. Julian disregarded his mother, while his mother was condescending towards the black individuals. Julian’s misinterpretation of his mother’s action explained the realization...
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