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

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What kind of mental habits shapes Julian's mother's personality?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that there is a nostalgic view of the past, a reveling in that which is no longer as a way to escape the condition of the present that is a part of Julian's mother's habits.  Julian's mother seems to be driven by the idea that what she is experiencing now in terms of financial challenge, health challenges, as well as social challenges can be  minimized with the recalling of the past and the belief that who she is now can be covered with what she and her family represented.  This becomes one of her habits that drives her, something that she demonstrates on more than one occasion.  I think that this becomes such a part of her that it becomes imperative for Julian that he literally bring her down to her knees regarding it.  There is a desire to stamp this habit out of her, to a point where she falls to the ground, asking for Caroline and her husband in order to deal with her condition in the present.  She asks for remnants of the past in order to effectively deal with what lies in front of her.  Through this, one sees how her own habits create a condition where there is difficulty tin dealing with life as it, seeking to recreate what used to be.

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