Everything That Rises Must Converge By Connor


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Connor was born in 1925 and was known as the voice of American literature with two novels and over thirty short stories to her name. Having been brought up as a catholic she often examined questions of morality and ethics in her writing.

One of her two short books of short stories was Everything That Rises Must Converge where she addresses racial integration.  The book was first published in 1965 and the story line shows Connors skills and moral view. The title of this book has an underlying religious significance that aims to expose the sinful ways of mankind that almost always goes unnoticed in the secular world.  Connor while writing about the violence than man inflicts on each other, she mainly referred to the concept of ani- materialism, integrating notions of morality, faith and indifference in her short stories in this collection. The book exposes human weakness and raises important moral questions with regards to everyday state of affairs. (Altenbernd & Lewis1980)

The story is about a young man Julian who takes a bus ride with his mother. The story begins with Julian reflecting on the reasons why he must accompany his mother. The mother insists on her sons company because she doesn’t want to ride the bud alone. She is not pleased with the bus ride because the bus had just been recently racially integrated. This meant that she would have to ride the bus together people from other racial backgrounds. Julian does not seem to understand what the problem is as the mother had been raised with a different mindset regarding relations with other races. Tension is seen when we see a black mother and her son boarding the bus. Connor uses the literary style of irony to expose the characters blindness and ignorance.

The generational gap between Julian and his mother is see via the disagreements they have over race relations an issues that has been present since 1960s.At the start of the 20th century a series of laws had been enforced that saw the segregation of public places such as restaurant and parks. These laws were abolished later and it is from here that Connors story develops. (Altenbernd & Lewis1980)


Altenbernd L. & Lewis, L.L. (1980) Introduction to literature, stories. Macmillan

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