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Everything That Rises Must Converge

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Jill Graham

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Everything That Rises Must Converge

By: Mary Flannery O'Connor Everything That Rises Must Converge Observing O'Connor The Last Bits 1946- segregated buses banned

1947- later known as "freedom rides", the South tries out integrated buses

1954- segregated schools are deemed unconstitutional by U.S Supreme Court

1957- the Civil Rights Act is passed

1960- Carolyn Oquillion is arrested in Savannah for sitting down at a whites only counter at a Levy's store

1963- desegretation hits virtually all public facilities in the state Growing Georgia Judging Julian
St Julian the Hospitaller: stag told prophesied he would kill his own parents to he skipped town. Later he found his "wife" in bed with another man, kills them both- turns out they were his parents who came for a visit. Then builds hospitals and care for the sick for the rest of his days as penance.

"He walked along, saturated in depression, as if in the midst of his martyrdom he had lost his faith" (207).
Martyr: 1. a person who is killed because of their beliefs.
2. a person who exaggerates their difficulties in order to obtain sympathy or admiration.
Knowing these two definitions of a martyr, why is ironic about this sentence in the context of the story?

Many other occuring religious terms like sacrafice, Fate (215), for God's sake (209), "raised his eyes to heaven" (206), the Godhigh's (208), miraculous(212), meditation (212), "before I knock the living Jesus out of you" (217), Saint Sebastian (206)

"When he got on a bus by himself, he made it a point to sit down beside a Negro, in reparation as it were for his mother's sins" (209).
How does this thought relate to other texts we have read? Do you agree Julian's mother has sinned? Religious Relations "Tide of darkness", "cluster of light", "unmoored", "his entry into the world of guilt and sorrow" (219)

From these words we understand the Julian's mother is dying and quickly.

What do you think will happen to Julian with his mother dead? Do you feel any sympathy for him?

What sort of feelings did you get from the ending of the story and do you think it was a closed or open denounment? Born March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia; an only child
Was a very devoted Catholic
Had a pet chicken that could walk backwards, an act which was filmed and played in cinemas across the country; she claimed it was one of her greatest achievments in life
Moved to Milledgeville, in 1938
Father died when she was 15, of lupus, the same diseases that would later claim her
Took a three year program at the Georgia State College for Woman before attending the University of Iowa
Diagnosed with Lupus in 1950
Moved to Andaulsia, home outside of Milledgeville in 1951, where she wrote, and raised peacocks, with her mother
Won several literary awards during her and after her lifetime, including three O. Henry Memorial Awards, two Kenyon Review Fellowships, and two national grants.
Is recognized as one of the most influential "Southern Gothic" stlye writers
Died at 39 on August 4, 1964 Hypocritical, arrogant, self-absorbed, spiteful, elitist
"he realized he was too intelligent to be a success" (211)

Believes himself to be very righteous and judgement free
"In spite of her foolish views, he was free of prejudice and unafraid to face facts" (212)

Claims an open mind to all others- except his mother and purposely tries to hurt her
"For a moment he had an uncomfortable sense of her innocence, but it only lasted a second before principle rescued him. Justice entitled him to laugh" (215)

Thinks himself better than everyone around him
"It was the only place where he felt free of the general idiocy of his fellows" (211)

Do you think Julian's image of himself is due to his mother's views or in spite of them? "The law of it was to sacrifice herself for him after she had first created the necessity to do so by making a mess of things. If he had permitted her sacrafices, it was only because her lack of foresight had made them necessary" (211). Why would O'Connor choose to write a story with characters so closely related to her own position in life? There are a lot of similarities in the situations of Flannery O'Connor and Julian. Gordon, Sarah. "Flannery O'Connor." 2009. The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Web. 25 October 2012.

Hawker, Sarah. Little Oxford English Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press Inc, 2006. Print

Jones, Terry. "Saint Julian the Hospitaller." Unknown. Saints.SPQN. Web. 25 October 2012.

O'Connor, Flannery. "Everything That Rises Must Converge." Fiction: A Pocket Anthology. Ed. R. S. Gwynn. New York: Pearson Education Inc, 2012. 205-219. Print.

Pirtle 111, Caleb. "The Flannery O'Connor Primer for Writers." Venture Galleries. Web. 25 October 2012.

Unknown. "The Road to Integration." 2001. Our Georgia Hisotry. Web. 25 October 2012.

Works Citied Does Julian feel that his Mother is responsible for the downfall of their family?

Is Julian as righteous as he believes himself to be? Julian's mother is constantly bringing up the idea of knowing who you are but Julian does not believe she knows anything about who she is now.

Why is this such an important issue in the story, especially with how it coincides with the ending? What role does grace, and religion in general, play in the theme story? Religion was a very large part of Flannery O'Connor's life, and the South in general, and it certainly shows in her writing.

What Does Grandfather Chestny's house represent to Julian? "He never spoke of it without contempt or thought of it without longing" (208) Innocent, Positive, Confident, Proud, Oblivious
"She entered with a little smile, as if she were going into a drawing room where everyone had been waiting for her" (210).

Devoted to her son
"she was a widow who had struggled fiercely to feed and clothe and put him through school and was still supporting him" (206)

Treats all (white), people with high level of respect, despite the fact she thinks herself in a higher class
"Most of them in it are not our kind of people, but I can be gacious to anybody" (207)

Is not ashamed of her background or how she was raised
"You remain what you are. Your great-grandfather had a plantation and two hundred slaves" (208)

Seems unaffected by her circumstances, despite not having an easy life and stays true to the "southern belle" ideals
"His mother was one of the slimmer ones, but she said ladies did not tell their age or weight" (205).

What is the significance of Julian's mother never being named? Julian's Mamma Eyes (all pages except 208, 210, 211)

What is the importance of eyes throughout this story?

"Rome wasn't built in a day" (207, 211) and
"The world is such a mess" (207, 210)

What is their relevance to the story and how do they reflect on character of Julian's mother?

Innocence (215, 206)
Referencing mother as a young girl (219, 213, 206, 208)
Depression (206, 207)
Struggle (206, 211)
Lessons (218, 216, 215, 213)

How do each of these words and ideas help set the tone of the story? Manifesting Motifs!! Rises: 1- come or go up
2- get up after lying, sitting, or kneeling.
3- Increase in number, size, and strength etc.

Converge: 1- Come together from different directions

What are some of the main and underlying issues in the story that the title could be pertaining to? "Everything That Rises Must Converge" "All my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopeless, and brutal."
Graciousness is a word that appears several times in the story (207, 216, 218)
(In Christian belief) Gracious: Showing divine grace.
Grace: The unearned favour of God.
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