In "Everything That Rises Must Converge," how does Julian show the important theme of hypocrisy?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Julian shows his hypocrisy in his attitudes, beliefs, prejudices, and actions. For instance, Julian accuses his mother of and condemns her for racist condescension while openly practicing condescension by trying engage a man on the bus solely because of his race.  Julian advocates the liberality of his views while being selfish and mean and illiberal of understanding of and compassion for his mother.

Julian prejudicially accuses his mother of living in a fantasy world, that being her recollections of the life she was reared in, while fantasizing about humiliating and shocking her. He demands that she share his educated social views as being superior while disregarding the true kindness and love she holds for people of both races; this trumps Julian's enlightened political form and racist condescension.

Julian's final act of hypocrisy comes in the closing scene. After unkindly and mercilessly tormenting his mother--after she has given him every opportunity in her power--by ridiculing her and condemning her for cherishing the world she grew up in; by abandoning her after she was barbarously attacked on the bus; after declaring she had gotten her just deserts, he calls her "darling" as she faces dying.

Everything that rises must converge implies that the risen things, like enlightened thought such as racial equality, must converge with the truths that have risen before and that hold power to regenerate and ennoble: Julian's enlightened views have risen by virtue of truth in a new milieu and must now converge with the virtuous truths--as depicted in his mother's love, generosity, depth of spirit, compassion and kindness--that have preceded and which must endure for enlightenment to be more than arrogant condescension.

lovingdiv123 | Student

wao -_-

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Everything That Rises Must Converge

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