Everything That Rises Must Converge

Topics: Flannery O'Connor, Short story, Joyce Carol Oates Pages: 4 (1345 words) Published: November 28, 2008
Rising from Racism to Converge in Equality

Generations of people always grow up learning different beliefs from their parents, who usually still hold on to old fashioned beliefs and ideas. “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, by Flannery O’ Connor, is considered a humorous but enthralling tale of a college graduate named Julian who lives with his prejudiced mother. The story takes place a couple years after segregation ended in the South, and African Americans and Caucasians can share public transit. Throughout the story, O’Connor impresses the reader with her consequent message that people often resist growing away from bigotry towards self-awareness and love for all humankind, which is necessary for life to converge in equality. O’Connor has a distinctive style of writing that expresses this message through characterization, conflict and literary devices.

Throughout the short story, Flannery O’Connor does a great job describing the significant differences between Julian and his mother. Her characterization is believable and realistic, given the setting and time period. David Abrams, who is a reviewer for O’Connor literature, explains further: “There’s a profound and beautiful purity at the heart of O’Connor’s writing; but to get to it, you must first meet the obscene and startling characters who populate her works” (Abrams).

Julian’s mother comes off as a strong and intolerant woman who has the mindset that Negros are inferior to whites. On the way to the bus, she says to Julian “They were better off where they were. They should rise, yes, but on their own side of the fence” (437). Since Julian’s mother was raised with Blacks as slaves, she sees no flaws in this way of thinking, unlike her son Julian. These were feelings that brought divergence between the two. Julian “…in spite of all her foolish views…was free of prejudice and unafraid to face facts”(440). He was not dominated by his mother. Julian, who grew up in a changing society,...

Cited: Abrams, David. “Everything That Rises Must Converge at Flannery” "Culture Cartel". .
O’Connor, Flannery. “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound & Sense. Tenth Edition. Thomas Arp, Greg Johnson. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 2006. 434-447.
Winston, Javonne. “Short story reviews: Everything that Rises Must Converge, by Flannery O 'Connor “Helium”. .
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