Things That Rises Must Converge By Flannery O ' Connor Essay

Things That Rises Must Converge By Flannery O ' Connor Essay

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Although Julian harshly berates his mother for her blatant racism and ignorance of its existence, after witnessing her stroke, Julian and the reader realize that the mother was a sincere and genuine individual. In Flannery O 'Connor 's "Everything That Rises Must Converge" the mother 's character is depicted through the use of similes comparing the mother 's actions, juxtaposition between Julian and his mother 's treatment of people of color, and symbolism of her hat in order to prove to the reader that all humans are flawed and possess both positive and negative attributes.
On the surface, Julian’s mother is a racist, white, southern woman who belonged to a slave owning family. Her racist and condescending views on people of color are deeply rooted to her past and family. Julian’s mother lives in a world different from her childhood. Blacks are free from the chains of slavery; she no longer lives with a family that holds the belief that there is a superior race. She is an anachronistic woman because she is stuck in the South’s racist way of thinking and cannot fathom the world being any different from the way it was then. Julian’s mother believes that the small black child from the bus needs her condescending penny; she attempts to give him the penny in what Julian says is a gesture "as natural to her as breathing" (O 'Connor). Julian hints that it is not her first time giving a small child a penny or a nickel; it shows that she is extremely comfortable with acting this way. This supercilious act displays her arrogance and the belief that people of color need her help just because she is a white person. Her comfortable attitude with racism shows just how ignorant she is to her antagonistic nature. Julian’s mother is under the fal...

... middle of paper ... Must Converge" teaches readers that everyone is equal and to appreciate loved ones while they last, the story also teaches readers that everyone has positive and negative attributes. The mother may be racist, and ignorantly so, but she is also sincere and genuine unlike her son, Julian. People should not judge only the negative qualities of a person in order to determine that person’s self worth, as Julian did with his mother; people should take into account that a person is made up of both good and bad qualities, and one must learn to appreciate an individual as a whole. Julian only saw his mother’s negative qualities and refused to appreciate her while he had her. As the title suggests, people may rise to positions of superiority on their own and for different reasons, but in the end, people converge because everyone is flawed and has redeeming characteristics.

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