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Essay about Flannery OConnor

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Flannery OConnor

In her short story "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Flannery O'Connor allows the story to be told from the perspective of Julian, a recent college graduate who appears to be waiting for a job, while living at home with his mother. His relationship with his mother is rocky at times, to say the least. It is constantly mired with conflicts about the "Old South" and the "New South". Julian must come to terms with himself, either he is an over protective son or just a pain in her ass. Even though Julian seems to dislike his mother's viewpoints, he continues to depends on her for "stability". When the final confrentation between Julian's mother and the large black women results in her having a heart attack, to which Julian is oblivious to, it causes him to be overwhelmed with greif and fear. He only then realizes the extent of his self-deception is fully confirmed.

Julian's discription of his relationship with his mother, in his mind, was he viewed himself as the savior that must teach her a lesson about her outdated veiwpoints. He feels as though he needs to treat her like a "little girl" because of her ignorance of the changing times. It seems that the new generation always seems to know more about "everything" than the one before. Meaning, the old generations are not nessasarily ignorant to the changes, but they might not know any better becuse of the way they were brought up. "They (blacks) don't give a damn for your graciousness", Julian explains to his mother. The condescension of "enlightened" whites towards blacks and the resentment of blacks towards well-meaning whites will never change because "knowing who you are is good for one generation only. You haven't the foggiest idea where you stand now ...


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...on about his life is blamed on his mother. His hatered for her "gives" him a reason to be a crtical, self-loathing person. Having the ability to tell right from wrong does not assist him in anyway. He is always looking for approval and satisfaction from the one person he accused of being in a "fantasy world". The fantasy world she has lived in for so long is now and were he will spend the rest of his life. Julian is left to fend for himself in a cold world where he is no more prepared to handle than he is a job. Finally we are left to guess whether or not Julian can make it without the one person who annoyed him so much, but stood by his side all of his life.

Work Cited

O'Connor, Flannery. "Everything That Rises Must Converge." Literature: An Inroduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 7th ed. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 1999. 340-51.


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