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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.