Everything That Rises Must Converge By Flannery O ' Connor

1289 Words Sep 29th, 2014 6 Pages
Flannery O’Connor, an American writer in the 1950’s and 60’s, often wrote in a Southern- Gothic style and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. This style is evident in the short story “Everything That Rises Must Converge” which takes place in the 1960s in the midst of the American civil rights movement. The ideas of inter-generational conflict and transforming social mores play out against the backdrop of racial desegregation in the South. O’Connor is able to convey the tensions that emerged after integration as well as conflicting mindsets through symbolism, irony, and point of view.
Symbolism is used to emphasize the convergence of the races during the civil rights movement as well as highlight the tension between conflicting mindsets. The first symbol is the hat that is worn by both Julian’s mother, Ms. Chestny, and Carver’s mother. The hat symbolizes the racial culture transformation after integration. Since both Julian’s mother, a white woman, and Carver’s mother, an African American woman, wear the same hat, it emphasizes the fact that both races now have an equal foothold in society. Julian even realizes that fate is trying to teach his mother a lesson about equality: “The vision of the two hats, identical, broke upon him with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise. His face was suddenly lit with joy. He could not believe that Fate had thrust upon his mother such a lesson” (8). In the past, the segregation of the races would have put Julian’s mother in…
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