Flannery O 'Connor's' Everything That Rises Must Converge

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Within a story, the author uses techniques to better the reader’s understanding of his or her writing. Throughout Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” O’Connor uses many techniques to develop her theme; however, setting, point of view, and symbolism have the largest impact on the reader’s understanding of the story. The use of the three techniques conveys the message: a change in society’s viewpoints will overthrow older beliefs.
O’Connor uses a setting that is very important to the development of her intended theme. O’Connor writes, “‘there are no more slaves,’ he said irritably” (661), “they had reached the bus stop” (662), and “a large negro got on” (664). Immediately thereafter, Julian’s mother says, “‘Now you see why I won’t ride on these buses by myself’” (O’Connor 664). Through the description of the setting on the bus, the reader can infer that the story takes place after the passing of the thirteenth amendment which abolished slavery. The society around Julian and his mother has begun accepting the black population as an equal entity while he and his mother still believe that black people are inferior to the white population. Without the addition of a post thirteenth amendment setting, O’Connor cannot convey her theme as easily because the setting informs the reader on why society perceives the views of Julian and his mother as outdated. Therefore, alluding that the new progressive ideals will take over.
O’Conner further elaborates
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