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.