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Themes

Religion is kind of an under-the-radar theme in "Everything That Rises Must Converge," but once you start to notice it—it's everywhere. But O'Connor, who was a devout Roman Catholic, doesn't hit us over the head. She interweaves religious references to create a tone of mystery that brings us into a sacred space. She's a guide rather than a preacher—and, even though religion saturates the pages, it isn't hitting us over the head with a bible.

Questions About Religion

  1. Why do you think O'Connor uses Saint Sebastian when describing Julian?
  2. Do you think any character in the story could be considered a good person?
  3. Find examples in the text where O'Connor mentions sin or sinning. What's the context? Why does she use these words?
  4. Do you think there is a sound argument for or against the notion of separate but equal in terms of religion? What would Jesus think?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In "Everything That Rises Must Converge" both Julian and his mother believe they are on the righteous path.

In terms of the story, Julian is a sinner and his mother is a saint.

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