Study Guide

Carver's Mother in Everything That Rises Must Converge

Carver's Mother

Carver's mother is similar to Julian's mother, and not just in her fashion sense.

She, too, seems to think that blacks and whites should stay on their own sides of the fence, and gets upset when Carver plays with Julian's mother. She is also like Julian in that she harbors a lot of dissatisfaction and mistrust of people in general: "her face was set not only to meet opposition but to seek it out" (77).

Of course, after hundreds of years of being abused and mistreated by white people, we can understand Carver's mother's bitterness. However, her sudden burst of violence at the end is unexpected and downright shocking. We're left not knowing what to think. Do we judge her? Do we fear her? Do we empathize with her? Would we do the same thing?