13 April 2015
Point of View in ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’
In Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, Julian Chestny, a young white man struggles to accept the ignorant beliefs and actions of his elderly mother in a post-civil rights era. The point of view plays an important role in this story and how readers interpret it. A point of view is the vantage point of which the story's told. O’Connor uses point of view to help illustrate the central idea of the story. The central idea communicated by point of view in this story is that if one is resistant to adapting to the changing times then they’ll become ignorant. The point of view O’Connor uses to convey this central idea is the third person limited point of view. Within this point of view, there are two aspects that help contribute to the depth of the story: the third person aspect and the limited omniscient aspect. The third person aspect allows readers to hear the story from a narrator who's uninvolved in the story. The limited aspect allows readers to hear all thoughts and feelings of one or two characters. The overall reason O’Connor chose the third person limited point of view was to communicate clearly Julian’s thoughts and feelings in contrast to his mother. At the beginning of the story, when readers meet to Julian, he is preparing to take his mother to her reducing class at the local YMCA. It’s obvious to readers that Julian doesn’t enjoy the company of his mother and is trying to make this afternoon spent with her as brief and painless as possible. Before they leave the house, Mrs. Chestny decides to wear her new purple hat to class. As irritating as this was, Julian decides just to let his mother be because it’s the small pleasures that make her happy. It is here that readers can identify Julian’s feeling of hidden respect for his mother. The limited aspect of this point of view allows readers to see Julian’s...
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