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The short story “Everything That Rises Must Converge”

The short story “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, by Flannery OConnor tells the story of Julian, the main character and his thoughts and feelings toward his mother. Julian is a college graduate who has a fair understating of the world he lives in, and because of this finds difficulty dealing with his mother and her views of the world. The story begins with Julian and his mother taking their regular trip downtown to the YMCA. Julian is often embarrassed by his mothers feelings toward Blacks; she refers to them as the lower class and reminisces of life on the plantation in the south.

Julian takes every opportunity of opposing her views because he finds her thoughtless remarks annoying. He often dreams of holding conversations with “distinguished-looking blacks” and contemplates bringing one home as lover. Despite his urges toward Blacks, the black women sitting next to him on the bus annoys him. By this encounter, it clear that Julian himself has not fully embraced multiculturalism despite how much he wants to. His mother carries herself as a woman of upper society and this is reflected by her actions and attitudes.

For example, when Julian and her are waiting for the bus and Julian takes off his tie, she tells him he is embarrassing her because he looks like thug. She also does not want to show up for weight loss class without her hat and gloves. These actions were reserved exclusively for ladies when she was younger and she continues with them, however in todays world it is not customary. No matter what Julian or any one else says, she will not relinquish those practices.

She glorifies the fact that her grandfather was a plantation owner with one hundred slaves and dismisses the plights of blacks by saying, “They should rise, yes, but on their own side of the fence”. It is clear that his mother has difficulty dealing with the changes of todays current society. Evidence that times have change is given by the fact that the colored woman sitting on the bus was wearing the same hat Julians mother was wearing. This indicates that not only white women of statue now wear big hats.

Julians mother is put in her place when the woman with the big hat refuses her charity of a penny to her little boy. Julian has a lot to offer to his mother in how the new world is changing, and his mother can teach him the history racism. However because both are so stuck in their ways, they dont to listen to each other and take learning experiences from each other. At the end when the women knocks Julians mother down, he realizes how helpless his mother is.

In her dying moments she can only envision her childhood days on the plantation oblivious to world she currently lives in. Julian at that time expresses a love for his mother hed never displayed in the past. In conclusion, Julian and his mother could have learned a great deal from each other. Julians mother could have taught him where they came from and Julian could have taught his mother what was the current state of the world they were living in. In the end Julian surpassed his disliking for his mother and found a love he was unable to express in the past.

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