Character Sketch of Julian in Everything That Rises Must Converge

Julian is a recent college graduate who is completely embittered by the contemporary atmosphere around him. Although he presumes himself to be liberal and unbiased towards the Blacks, he is as narrow minded as his mother. He is brought up with a narrow set of experiences and a confined worldview of his mother. Because of his college education he seems to overarch himself as liberal. But he is unable to forge any kind of bond with the Blacks. In fact, he finds it an ardent task to even converse with them. This is clearly manifested in the incident in the bus, where, in order to strike a conversation with a Black man, he ends up making the incident awkward by first asking for a lighter himself and then returning it without using it.

It can be stated that Julian tries to connect with the Blacks more out of his desire to annoy his mother rather than to forge any bond. He reflects his own irritation by annoying his mother. To him, bringing home a Black is a triumph of his college education and not his individuality. His fantasizing world of connecting with the Blacks is as far from reality as his mental bubble.

Julian has only contempt and disregard towards his mother. He lacks respect for his mother and doesn’t even try to hide his lack of respect. He makes fun of her hat, desires to slap her, considers himself a martyr as he accompanies her to the weight reducing classes and urges to break her spirit. He is disillusioned by confining his understanding to his faltered individuality.

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