Study Guide

Everything That Rises Must Converge Family

By Flannery O'Connor


Julian and his mother are less Thelma and Louise than Norman and Mrs. Bates. Their fragmented family (no dad) plays out in a fragmented South (newly integrated), which makes "Everything That Rises Must Converge" a whole mess of drama. Julian longs to be the man of the house, but he admits that he'll never make a name for himself. And who gets the worst of his frustration and angst? You always hurt the ones you love.

Questions About Family

  1. Do you think Julian is justified in his actions toward his mother?
  2. How might their relationship have been different if Julian hadn't gone to college?
  3. Is Julian's mother is a good mother? Is Julian a good son?
  4. How would you compare the family dynamic between Julian and his mother and Carver and his mother?

Chew on This

Julian thinks his mother lives in a fantasy world, but he's more deluded than she is.

Julian is jealous of his mother because she has done more with her life than he will ever do with his.