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Everything That Rises Must Converge

Everything That Rises Must Converge

by Flannery O'Connor

Suffering Theme

There's a whole lot of suffering going on in "Everything That Rises Must Converge," both internal and external. And of all the characters, the one who has suffered the most is Julian's mother. (Maybe.) Being a widow and putting a son through college as a single mom is no easy task, especially when it's a thankless job. Of course, Julian thinks he's got it worse as a typewriter salesman who has to put up with his mother's old-fashioned ways. And what about the suffering of slavery and racism? If we knew the story behind Carver's mother, would we think she had it worst of all?

Questions About Suffering

  1. Julian is not a very happy person and is suffering psychologically. Where does this unhappiness seem to come from?
  2. Should Julian's mother be a role model or a source of shame? Why does Julian feel so conflicted towards her?

Chew on This

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

Julian is a crybaby who needs to move out of his mamma's house.

O'Connor suggests that it's really the black people who have suffered the most.

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