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The short story Everything That Rises Must Converge centers on the relationship between Julian a young man who has recently graduated from college and his mother It takes place in a city in the South soon after integration Much like Emily Grierson in William Faulkners A Rose for Emily Julians mother is a product of the Old South She takes tremendous pride in her heritage due to the fact that her ancestors were people who were once very highly respected Her grandfather was a former state governor as well as a plantation and slave owner Julian sees his mother as a dinosaur who is a product of the past and cannot see and accept the realities of the present The fact that she clings to her old values embarrasses him and he sees her more as a child who does not know any better The plot of the story revolves around a bus trip that Julian and his mother take Once a week Julians mother goes to the local Y for her reducing class Julian accompanies her on the bus ride over and back because she is uncomfortable riding alone since the buses have been integrated The ride is nothing more than a necessary evil to him it is seen as a time in which he would be sacrificed to her pleasure 1081 Before they even leave their apartment they argue over a hat that Julians mother bought She is convinced that she must return it so the money spent on it could be invested in paying off bills but Julian tells her to wear it and compliments her on it even though he secretly thinks it is hideous This hat is a symbol of the conflict that exists between the two Julian sees the hat as another relic that his mother holds on to and as an additional form of shame that he must endure from his mother On the
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