The Freak in Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O´connor

555 Words 3 Pages
Flannery O’Connor once said, “…It is when the freak can be sensed as a figure for our essential displacement that he attains some depth in literature.” With this, O’Connor correctly uses the freak to symbolize her reoccurring theme of a grotesque viewpoint on the world, and such symbolism is used prominently in two of her short stories, ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge” and “Good Country People.” Within both stories, the freak awakens both the characters in the stories, and, in fact, the reader themselves, to the fact that they embody the same state as the freak.
In “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” Julian’s mother’s racism serves as the displacement in the story, while the Black characters encountered the bus ride symbolically represent the freak. Julian’s mother expresses her pity with the Black race when she states, “Most of them in it are not our kind of people, but I can be gracious to anybody. I know who I am.” Despite people having no choice in the matter when it comes to what skin color they’re born with, the mother still believes that through God, all people are connected, so she justifies her racism. However, this train of thought is broken when a Black mother enters the bus wearing the same hideous green hat as Julian’s mother is wearing. Julian, who is of a different generation, attempts to inform the mother of the inherent flaws in her racism, but this point isn’t hammered into the mother until the Black mother knocks her down as the mother tries to…