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Everything That Rises Must Converge

Everything That Rises Must Converge


by Flannery O'Connor

Julian's Mother Timeline and Summary

  • The mother stands in front of the hall mirror in her house, putting on her hat.
  • She second-guesses her purchase, saying "Maybe I shouldn't have paid for it" (2).
  • She won't shut up about the hat, almost going back to the house to take it off.
  • And she keeps on talking, reminiscing about her family's old house, how they used to own slaves, and about her old nurse, Caroline. Charming stuff.
  • They reach the bus stop; she's not too pleased when Julian takes off his tie, says he looks like a "thug" (40).
  • On the bus, she sits next to a woman with yellow hair and protruding teeth. She strikes up general conversation about the weather and how there aren't any black people on the bus, yay.
  • When a black guy gets on the bus, she's not pleased that Julian sits next to him.
  • But when a black woman and her young son get on the bus; Julian's mother plays peek-a-boo with the boy, Carver, who she thinks is "cute."
  • They get off at the same stop and she wants to give Carver a nickel.
  • Oops. All she has is a penny. She tries to give it to him anyway, and his mother gets angry. Really angry. She hits her with her fist and large purse.
  • Julian's mom falls onto the sidewalk in shock.
  • Dazed and confused, she tells Julian that she wants to go home and to get Grandpa (who's dead) and Caroline.
  • Mama J falls onto the sidewalk again, her face distorted; she does not recognize Julian.