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Everything That Rises Must Converge Questions and Answers

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When Julians mother gives Carver a penny, his mother flies into a rage and knocks Julian's mother to the ground with her large purse.
She wears the same purple hat as Julian's mother.
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
Major Conflict:
The issue of race relations riggers a major conflict between mother and son.
Julian considers himself as liberal and progressive because he rejects his mothers racist views.

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He has "an evil urge to break her spirit" and he succeeds, only to regret it deeply.
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
"True culture is in the mind, the mind", he said, and tapped his head, "the mind".
Despite Julian and his mothers conflicting opinions, both opinions made in the beginning of the story on the bus ride to the YMCA reflect Julian and his inability to confront their own poverty and the changing social landscape around them.
Julian's mother, for example, claims to believe that manners and gentility come from good breeding.
The fact that her family once had political influence and wealth- not to mention power over the lives of 200 slaves, deeply troubles her, prompting her to overcompensate for this loss by always dressing and looking her best in public.


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and recalling the past allows them to continue living in a changing world they don't understand.
Julian feels tormented by his family history and agonizes over the family connection to slavery, yet he still dreams of the past to escape his dreary life as an educated typewriter salesman.

The Hat:
The same hat that Julian's mother and the large black women wears symbolizes the transforming cultural landscape of the 60's South, which has put the two women on equal social footing.
The hat visually demonstrates that both women are now essentially the same: they both ride the same public transportation, shop in the same stores, and even have the same taste in clothing.
It also highlights the absurdity of segregation and racial inequality, suggesting that people are more alike than different
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
The Penny:
The Penny that Julian's mother gives to Carver represents her patronizing attitude toward African Americans.
Even though she wants to give the penny out of kindness, Julian's mother fails to recognize the offers condescending and patronizing overtones.
Giving money to Carver, therefore, is a symbolic continuation of black's dependence on whites.
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
Social Conflict as a Generational Conflict:
The author places a broader social conflict of race relations with the volatile relationship Julian has with his mom to connect the two issues that transformed the South in the 1960's
Like most young, idealistic Southerners, however, Julian has trouble acting on his convictions and fully treating blacks as equals or even people
Julian's clashes with his mother over dress, race, and appearances in general mimic the greater conflict in society and ultimately result in violence
"Everything that Rises must Converge"
The meaning of the Title:
The title means that the past is nothing and the present is more important.
The story was written during the time when slaves were emancipated and all the blacks fought for their rights and freedom.
The author shows that the reaction of discrimination still exists inside the white people and through the actions of Julian's mother.
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
Julian is the protagonist of the story.
The story focuses on his conflicted relationship with his mother and his rejection of her old-fashioned, racist ideology.
Julian is proud of himself for being able to see her objectively and not allowing himself to be dominated by her.
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
Julian's Mother:
She is an older Southern lady.
Descended from a respected, wealthy family, she is now virtually impoverished.
Almost every dollar she has goes to her son; which this financial support has allowed him to complete college and attempt a life as a writer.
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
Carver's Mother:
A tired and impatient black woman on the bus.
She does not like when Carver plays with Julian's mother.

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"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
"Its in the heart", she said, "and in how you do things, and how you do things is because of who you are."
Julian on the other hand, uses his college education to elevate himself above those around him.

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Convincing himself otherwise, however, alllows him to deal with his frustration as a typewriter salesman and separate himself from his mother and the poverty that surrounds him.
"Everything that Rises Must Converge"
"Don't think that was just an uppity Negro woman" he said "that was the whole colored race, which will no longer take your condescending pennies.