The Need For Independence in Everything That Rises Must Converge

The Need For Independence in Everything That Rises Must Converge

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The Need For Independence in Everything That Rises Must Converge  


At some point in every parent-child relationship, the child gets to a point where he no longer wants to feel dependent upon his parent.  In some cases, the child will emotionally detach himself from his parent in order to
achieve this feeling of independence.  In Flannery O'Connor's short story,
Everything That Rises Must Converge, the relationship between Julian and his
mother is a situation where the child, Julian, has tried to gain a feeling
of independence by emotionally detaching himself from his mother.
Julian's financial dependence on his mother has made him very bitter.  His
need to justify his mother's struggle to better him by stating that she
"enjoyed the struggle" provides insight into the fact that he is a person
who doesn't want to feel as if he owes anybody.  The irony of it is that he
wishes to take care of his mother but is unable to do so.  His insistence
that she keep the hat is an illustration of the fact that he wishes for her
to have more.

While Julian portrays his disapproval of his mother's views as a matter of
right and wrong, in actuality he opposes her views in order to assert his
independence.  His opposing his mother's belief that she has "won" is backed
by self-pitying arguments.  His solid based opposition of his mother's
prejudice views is really only a way to show his mother that he has his own
independent views.  The fact that he never really cares out a conversation
with any black person that he feels isn't educated and that he never follows
out with his plan to invite them home to dinner shows that his own beliefs
aren't solid and are based on his desire to infuriate his mother.
Julian's need to feel intelligent is an attempt on his part to be better
than his mother.  His comment on going to a "third-rate college, he had, on
his own initiative, come out with a first-rate education; in spite of
growing up dominated by a small mind [his mother's mind], he had ended with
a large one; in spite of all her foolish views, he was free of prejudice and
unafraid to face fact," is not only a demonstration of his need to feel
superior to his mother but is also very ironic in the fact that if any of

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the stuff he said were true then why is he holding a job as a typewriter
salesman.  When he feels as if his mother has been taught a lesson by the
black lady, Julian's joy comes from his feeling of knowing more than his
mother.

Julian's belief that he is emotionally free from his mother couldn't be
further from the truth.  In actuality, a majority of his actions are fueled
by his mother.  His desire to talk to blacks is in response to his mother's
protest.  His comments on the fact he will never be successful is an attempt
to act as if he is alright with being failure when in truth he needs to be
something more than a typewriter salesman in order to make his mother proud.
  In all his wisdom, Julian hasn't realized that the love his mother has for
him is unconditional and instead of trying to disappoint her he should work
on making himself happy.


Julian's need to be independent caused him to separate himself from his
biggest supporter, his mother. Julian's desire to hurt the only person who
had ever been there for him is very tragic.  Unfortunately, many times in
real life people also push their parents away in an effort to prove that
they know right.  The next time you think of your parents instead of
thinking how much they don't know, you should think about how much you've
learned from them and how much more they can teach you.
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