Things That Rises Must Converge By Flannery O ' Connor

Good Essays

What is the true price of a penny? To someone having a crummy day and feeling down, finding a penny on the ground heads up can turn their day around. To someone who is extremely poor and struggling, a penny could be enough to buy extra food and keep themselves or their loved ones alive. For Julian’s mother in “Everything that Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor, the simple act of giving a penny to a little boy led to her traumatic death. But was it the innocent gift of a penny or Julian’s mother’s racist tendencies that contributed to her death? Using a character analysis on Julian’s mother, we can assess her character and racist tendencies, determining who is at fault for her death. Although the entire story builds Julian’s mother …show more content…

To show that she is a higher class than the women in her class, she purchases an expensive hat which Julian describes as “jaunty and pathetic.” Julian’s mother bought this hat for seven dollars and fifty cents, which during the 1960s was enough to pay the gas bill for their apartment (273). Julian’s mother knows that she could have paid the gas bill with the money, but instead, uses the money to purchase an expensive hat, because in her mind, she is a high-class lady that can afford it.
This thinking is largely a part of her heritage. As she tells Julian, “your great-grandfather was a former governor of this state, your grandfather was a prosperous landowner. Your grandmother was a Godhigh” (275). Julian’s mother is extremely proud of her family and attributes their success and class to her own saying, “you remain what you are. Your great-grandfather had a plantation and two hundred slaves” (275). She says this very proudly and it shows both her racist attitude and her thinking that she is better than everyone else. In addition to Julian’s mother’s beliefs that she is better than everyone, she also has a distaste for black people. The reason Julian is escorting his mother to the YMCA is due to the new integration laws. She will no longer ride the bus alone, especially at night, because she is

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