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Everything That Rises Must Converge is a short story by Flannery O’Connor that captures an ongoing conflict between a mother and her son which is framed by the social changes that took place in the American society in the 1960s. The author of the short story explores the…
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Download file to see previous pages One of the major themes in Everything That Rises Must Converge is the theme of race as one of the key social and cultural concerns in the American society in 1960s, and it is addressed and analyzed in many ways in the piece. As it is follows from the short story, there are two views on the situation that took place in the society, and they depended on people’s belonging to a particular generation. Specifically, Julian’s mother as a representative on an older generation adheres to old cultural norms of the society, meaning she does not accept any changes regarding race and social classes.
In fact, she grips hold of her old-fashioned views and wants to impose them upon her son. In particular, at first convenience she tries to remind her son and, perhaps, even herself that they come from a good and respected southern family and that their ancestors were wealthy and powerful: “Your great-grandfather was a former governor of this state”, “Your great-grandfather had a plantation and two hundred slaves” (O’Connor). That is to say Julian’s mother chooses to live on her family’s greatness, which is now gone, because that gives her a sense of being as powerful and renowned as her family used to be in the past. Her behavior and overtly racist attitudes show narrow-mindedness of her generation when it comes to changes and new social norms.
Overall, from how O’Connor depicts it, it follows that for Julian’s mother there is a great necessity to separate herself from African Americans who have suddenly become the equal part of the society she lives in. this is one more reason why she is used to reminding about her roots and social standing of her ancestors. She separates herself and her son from those who is different from them, and this kind of separation suggests her attitude towards African Americans is of a discriminatory character. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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