not been for [her] condition, she would be far from these red hills and good country people” (O’Connor 5). Even though Mrs. Hopewell and Joy/Hulga seem to think less of their local neighbors, they do trust them a quite a bit. When Manley Pointer first arrives at the Hopewell residence, he is greeted in a polite manner and invited in, despite Mrs. Hopewell’s hesitation. After pretending to be a bible salesman, the Hopewells assume that he is just good country people and invite him to stay for dinner. Joy/Hulga relied so heavily on Manley being a genuinely good person that she went with him to an old barn, where she devised a plan to steal his faith in God and open his eyes to the foolishness of his belief system. Instead, Manley shows his true character when they reach the barn loft and he displays his variety of Christian contraband. “Aren’t you,” she murmured, “aren’t you just good country people?” (O’Connor 15) After Manley steals her prosthetic leg, Joy/Hulga comes to the realization that not all country people are good. The meaning of the title in “Everything that Rises Must Converge” develops throughout the story and creates the idea of union between divided races, not only on public transportation, but in all facets of life. The story takes place during the civil rights movement, as does most of O’Connor’s literary works, but this one in particular was written seven years after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on the bus to a white man. Coincidentally, the story takes place on a bus and the main characters, Julian and his mother, are riding to the YMCA for his mother’s weight-loss class. “She would not ride the buses by herself at night since they had been integrated” (O’Connor 495). Julian wishes to change his mother’s racist view of the world, even if he is pretentious in doing so. As they ride the bus and discuss their differing opinions, Julian’s mother explains that African Americans “should rise, yes, but on their own
3 Jordin Weinberg side of the fence” (O’Connor 496). This ideology of segregation was quite common in the South
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