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An overview of the short story everything that rises must converge by flannery oconnor

Set in the early 1960s the story is narrated in the third person and begins with the main protagonist Julian, waiting for his mother, Mrs Chestny, to get ready for her weight class in the local Y.

  1. The final moment of the story is apocalyptic in tone, with the major characters pushed back into the past as their perspective on the world becomes strange, distorted, and unfamiliar.
  2. Southern history unfolds once again as both Julian and his mother fantasize about lost plantations and prestige, forcing readers to confront the uncomfortable and vexing legacy of slavery. Julian, her son, whose viewpoint dominates the story, thinks the hat is hideous; nevertheless, he insists that she wear it to expedite their departure.
  3. Previously he has been on the bus and tried to talk to another black man who Julian was disappointed to find out was just an undertaker.

The hat as symbolism is important because later in the story while Julian and his mother are on the bus going to the Y, a black woman sits down beside Julian and she is wearing an identical hat. Another important thing to remember from the beginning of the story is the association Julian makes with himself and martyrdom or sainthood.

The reader finds that Mrs Chestny is the only person who arrives at the classes in the Y wearing a hat and gloves importance of appearance to her, it defines her identity and that she is the only one who has a son who has attended college again the idea that she is above others.

Though it is obvious to the reader how important appearance is to Mrs Chestny, appearance is also important to Julian. While his mother is telling him how wealthy his great grandfather was, Julian begins to resent the fact that he now lives in one of the poorer neighbourhoods, the reader aware that Julian is allowing his circumstances where he lives to frame his identity.

Also like his mother, Julian is defining himself through a lost heritage. His grandfather had a plantation and two hundred slaves while Julian is selling typewriters though he does have aspirations to be a writer.

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor

There is one other incident on the way to the bus stop that is important again the theme of appearance and identity. In reality Julian is as petty and small minded as his mother.

Despite his perceived liberal views Julian has an inability to connect with others. This can be seen while he is on the bus with his mother.

Everything That Rises Must Converge Summary

Firstly there is the lady with the protruding teeth. Then there is the black man in the suit that sits beside him on the bus. Previously he has been on the bus and tried to talk to another black man who Julian was disappointed to find out was just an undertaker. He is unable to connect with people on their terms.

  • His superiority and exasperation quickly crumble to infantile panic, however, when his mother shortly after dies of a stroke on the sidewalk;
  • The strange supporting characters, such as the imposing black woman and white woman with protruding buckteeth, also add to the unsettling feeling that permeates the town;
  • This can be seen while he is on the bus with his mother.

His unrealistic ideas of what a black person is, results in him being as isolated from reality as his mother is. How isolated from reality Mrs Chestny is or how little she understands a changing world can be seen when she and Julian get off the bus. No longer are black people reliant on white people. If Mrs Chestny has learnt a lesson as Julian thinks she should over the incident with CarverJulian himself by the end of the story learns a harsh lesson too.

  • Set in the early 1960s the story is narrated in the third person and begins with the main protagonist Julian, waiting for his mother, Mrs Chestny, to get ready for her weight class in the local Y;
  • Set in the early 1960s the story is narrated in the third person and begins with the main protagonist Julian, waiting for his mother, Mrs Chestny, to get ready for her weight class in the local Y;
  • Another important thing to remember from the beginning of the story is the association Julian makes with himself and martyrdom or sainthood;
  • This line is significant as it becomes clear to the reader that Julian is now aware, as his mother is dying, of the sacrifices she has made for him and that he will now be alone;
  • The final moment of the story is apocalyptic in tone, with the major characters pushed back into the past as their perspective on the world becomes strange, distorted, and unfamiliar.

After he picks his mother up off the ground she starts to walk towards home rather than to the Y. As she is walking Julian tries to pull her back but realises when he looks in her face that something is wrong.

This line is significant as it becomes clear to the reader that Julian is now aware, as his mother is dying, of the sacrifices she has made for him and that he will now be alone. Cite Post McManus, Dermot.

  • Also like his mother, Julian is defining himself through a lost heritage;
  • His grandfather had a plantation and two hundred slaves while Julian is selling typewriters though he does have aspirations to be a writer.

The Sitting Bee, 3 Jan.