In Flannery O'Connor's short story "Everything That Rises Must Converge," why does the woman with the little boy knock Julian's mother to the ground? How is it that Julian is able to predict that this will happen and his mother is not? Why does Julian relish in this moment even though he initially dreads it? What does he hope it will do?
In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” an angry African-American woman, near the very end of the story, strikes Julian’s mother with her heavy purse and knocks Julian’s mother to the ground. Before long, the mother dies of her injuries. Why does the black woman strike Julian’s mother?
The simple (and correct) answer is that she thinks that Julian’s mother has been treating her condescendingly. She thinks that Julian’s mother has been taking pride in the latter’s ability to win the favor and attention of the black woman’s young child. Instead of seeing the attention paid to her child as genuinely affectionate, the black woman regards it as a sign of the superiority that Julian’s mother feels as a white. Perhaps the black woman is also a bit jealous of the love her boy is showing to Julian’s mother. In any case, she does not appreciate the fact that the flirtation between her son and Julian’s mother continues after she (the...
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