Ambiguity in Everything That Rises Must Converge

Flannery O’Connor’s characters maintain pretentious social decorum without even realizing the racist undertones of their behavior. Julian’s Mother is the epitome of such a spirit. Though she is of the firm view that blacks can rise but only on their side of the fence yet she plays with the black boy Carver and even tries to give him a penny out of good intentions just as any old person would humor a child. She however does not realize the patronizing attitude implied in the act. Julian toois an equally ambiguous character as he professes to be broadminded but secretly longs for his ancestral wealth from plantation fields that implies he is not fully contented with the integration. His liberal education does not match up with his real life where he fails to connect with any black person at all. As Connor observes “he had never been successful at making any Negro friends.” Both characters however, though not comprehensively accepting, are not evil either.

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