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Essay/Term paper: Everything that rises must converge

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Cliff Notes

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There is an absolute theme of integration in

"Everything That Rises Must Converge" by

Flannery O" Connor.



Through the experience of reading this

short story, we can depict the characters"

past experiences.



There are two incompatible personalities in

the passage, Mrs. Chestney, the mother,

which represents the transition from the old

South, and Julian, the son, who represents

the transition of the new South.



Due to the fact that Mrs. Chestney was the

granddaughter of a governor, it purely

conveys that she ranked high in wealth and

position. This purely expresses her

growing experience in a southern manner

and to behave in a gentile southern manner.



In relation to integration, Mrs. Chestney

dismisses the plight of blacks with a

southern response, "They should rise, yes,

but on their own side of their fence".



This attitude most likely resulted from

being taught to talk this way all her life.

Although she makes thoughtless remarks,

her genuine affection for her childhood

nurse Caroline, shows that she has no real

malice towards the black race.



There is a repetition of the words "meet

yourself coming and going", in which she

implicates her kind, as the party

responsible for the tension between black

and whites. In fact, what she really means is

that, "we dominated this race of people",

and feels threatened by it. Also, Mrs.

Chestney truly meets her match when the

black woman who boards the bus with her

son refuses her charity. Julian becomes

overjoyed when he notices that the

woman"s hat is identical to his mother"s.

Thus, Mrs. Chestney fears materialize- she

truly "meets herself coming and going".



Mrs. Chestney doesn"t open her mind to

face reality, but instead is looking for a

deeper message than what is offered in

Julian"s sermon on race relations. She wants

to return to the sweet smelling mansion of

her childhood that she views as a "safe

heaven" where she will be welcomed. She

regresses to childhood calling out, "Tell

Grandpa to come get me," Tell Caroline to

come get me." This purely indicates that the

mother is still living in the past.



In opposition though, Julian is obsessed

with the idea of integration, and thus

indicates that he was brought up

completely different than his mother. He

experiences life and race relations

completely different as opposed to his

mother. For example, "he daydreams about

making black friends, and even bringing

home a black lover." This statement is

impossible, mainly because of his refusal to

deal with the outside world and "the

general idiocy of his fellow." "Julian lives"

in the inner compartment of his mind…

safe from any kind of penetration from

without." His view of the world is too

cynical and ironically every attempt he

makes with the blacks fails.



What can be conclude of Julian is that he

had an absence of heart, which blatantly

depicts his past, but when his mother dies,

the love that he was unable to express

comes out when he cries, "Darling,

sweetheart, wait."



In conclusion, Mrs. Chestney was trying to

make the past present and that caused

many conflicts between her son and herself.

Since she was obsessed with her past way

of living, she was trying to convince her

son to follow her idiosyncrasy, but Julian

was following his mind, not his mother"s

heart.

 

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