Everything That Rises Must Converge Questions and Answers
by Flannery O’Connor

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What and where are dramatic irony, allusion, paradox and ambiguity in "Everything That Rises Must Converge"?

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Flannery O’Connor was a master of irony in her short stories. In Everything that Rises Must Converge, there is irony in the character of Julian. Although the story is narrated in the third person, O’Connor gives us insight into Julian’s thoughts in the way she narrates what he is thinking. He has a very dysfunctional relationship with his mother but by the end of the novel, the reader slowly comes to sympathize with his mother and not him. This is achieved through the self-serving thoughts and insensitivity Julian exhibits towards his mother, in spite of her foibles. Julian continues to plot ways of getting even with his mother in his mind and with his superior attitude, wishes all sorts of evil upon her, purposefully sitting next to the Black woman on the bus, etc. In the end, his wish to punish his mother comes true when his mother dies as a result of the stress that he has caused her by his cruelty. He is the one that ends up learning the lesson. This is situational irony.

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