Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
What clues do we get about the fate of Julian's mother? Do you ever get the feeling that her blood pressure is a real problem before the incident with Carver's mother?
What do you think really happens at the end of the story? Will Julian find help in time? Does the mother die?
Do you agree with Julian when he says "true culture is in the mind […]" (43) or with his mother when she says "It's in the heart" (44)? Is it a combination of both? Is O'Connor writing from the heart or from the mind?
What's really behind Julian's anger toward his mother? Guilt? Resentment? Frustration? Do you think he's a good son? Is she a good mother?
Why do you think Carver's mother doesn't want him to play with Julian's mother? What comment is O'Connor making (if any) about integration?
After making such a big deal about Julian's mother's new ugly hat, why do you think she isn't bothered when she sees Carver's mother with the same hat? What does this say about her character? Does her reaction go against the idea that she is racist? Why or why not?