Sunday, July 31, 2022

Class 12 Optional English Note || Summary of Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O' Connor || Fiction || Short Story

Lesson: 6

Class 12 Optional English Note || Summary of Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O' Connor || Fiction || Short Story

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O' Connor

Setting:

Place: Julian's home and a moving bus in the South (The southern states of America)

Time: The events took place during the time of racial integration

Themes:

racism, generation gap, class discrimination, family conflict, social disorder, reality vs perception

Characters:

Julian, a college graduate who is against racism, and wants to be a writer.

Mrs. Chestny, Julian's mother

Summary

The story 'Everything That Rises Must Converge' by Flannery O' Connor describes the events surrounding a fateful bus trip. It aims to expose the sinful nature of humanity that often goes unrecognized in the modern world.

Julian, a recent college graduate who has to take his mother downtown on the bus for her weight reducing class at the YMCA on Wednesday nights. She doesn't travel by the buses by herself at night as they are racially integrated. She puts on an expensive purple hat which she has recently bought.

As they walk through their neighborhood, he says that he will start making money someday but inwardly believes that he will never. He daydreams about moving to a new place in the country. His mother encourages him saying that Rome wasn't built in a day.

Julian’s mother mentions that his grandfather used to own a plantation with two hundred slaves. Julian reminds her that slavery is over. When his mother talks about her nurse, Caroline, he muses with the idea of sitting with a black person on the bus to redress her prejudices against the black community.


Upon reaching the bus stop, Julian takes off his tie to irritate his mother. They retort at each other until the bus comes. After boarding the bus, Julian’s mother begins to talk to the white passengers. A thin woman with protruding teeth and yellow hair joins the conversation and they begin to talk about Julian and his job. His mother tells her that he wants to be a writer. Julian feels that his mother lives in a false world.


The bus stops. A well- dressed black man soon gets on the bus and starts reading his newspaper. Julian thinks about starting a conversation with him to make his mother uncomfortable. He chooses, instead, to ask if he has a light. It becomes embarrassing as he doesn’t smoke and has to soon return the packet of matches to the black man. Julian is immersed in thinking of different ways to irritate his mother, including bringing a black girlfriend home.


At the next bus stop, a black woman boards with her son. She is wearing the same hat as Julian’s mother. The little boy climbs up and sits beside Julian’s mother. Julian finds his mother begins to play with the child. The black woman discouraged her child to play with Julian’s mother and pulls him to her side.


When the bus stops, they are preparing to get off. Julian is having a strange feeling as his mother will give a coin to the child. He is worried about how the black woman will perceive the gift. When they get off the bus, Julian’s Mother looks for a nickel in her purse but only gets a penny. She attempts to give the penny to the child, but the child’s mother strikes Julian’s mother with her big purse, and walks away.


Julian's mother falls down to the ground. Julian thinks that his mother should learn a lesson from this incident. He begins to talk to her about the emergence of blacks in the South. While he is speaking to his mother, she suffers a stroke as a result of the blow, and she dies. He runs for help but quickly returns to his mother.


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