As is common with Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge is rather a violent story in which the characters learn lessons about themselves and human nature. O'Connor provides a contrast between the old South and the new South (after the Civil Rights movement) by contrasting a character like Julian's mother against a character like the African American woman on the bus. What O'Connor tells us overall is that none of us really "know" ourselves until we are confronted with a moment of grace in which self realization comes. In fact, Julian is downright cruel to his mother. He behaves in ways that simply provoke her. He dreams of ways that he might be able to teach her a lesson. In other words, he sees himself as above her and looks down on her old Southern ways. In one of the climactic moments when his mother receives her moment of grace in the form of violence, he has no sympathy for her. He tells her that she got exactly what she deserved. He then proceeds to absolutely berate her in
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