Everything That Rises Must Converge | Study Guide

Flannery O'Connor

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Course Hero, "Everything That Rises Must Converge Study Guide," May 24, 2019, accessed July 24, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Everything-That-Rises-Must-Converge/.

Everything That Rises Must Converge | Characters

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Character Description
Julian Julian is the "intellectual" and self-righteous protagonist in "Everything That Rises Must Converge." Failing to show his mother compassion, he realizes too late how much he loves her. Read More
Mrs. May The central character of "Greenleaf," Mrs. May is a self-righteous dairy farmer, whose egotism and lack of faith result in her death without redemption. Read More
Mr. Fortune Mr. Fortune, the protagonist in "A View of the Woods," is a stubborn, egotistical, and spiteful old man. Read More
Asbury Asbury, the protagonist of "The Enduring Chill," thinks he is dying but ends up dying only in terms of his old way of life. Read More
Thomas In "The Comforts of Home," Thomas is a selfish 35-year-old historian who lives with his beloved mother but gets angry at her for her radical charity. Read More
Sheppard Sheppard, the protagonist in "The Lame Shall Enter First," volunteers as a counselor at a reformatory. He considers himself a good and unselfish man, but his blindness and egotism lead to the death of his only son. Read More
Mrs. Turpin Mrs. Ruby Turpin, the protagonist of "Revelation," is a talkative, self-satisfied, and judgmental Christian who is redeemed when she realizes she is no better than anyone else. Read More
Parker O.E. Parker, also known as Obadiah Elihue Parker, is the protagonist of "Parker's Back." Parker has lived his life as an itinerant sinner who has an unconscious desire for redemption. Read More
Tanner The protagonist of "Judgement Day," Tanner is a feeble, old, Southern white man living in New York City, where he ends up dying because of his racism. Read More
Dr. Block The family doctor in "The Enduring Chill," Dr. Block diagnoses Asbury's illness as undulant fever.
Sarah Ruth Cates Sarah Ruth Cates marries O.E. Parker in the story "Parker's Back," even though they seem to be polar opposites and she hates his tattoos. She ultimately rejects her husband's turning to her for guidance because she is too rigid to accept his manifestation of newfound faith: a new tattoo on his back that pictures Christ.
Coleman Tanner's black friend in "Judgement Day," Coleman Parrum willingly takes a subservient role in his long relationship with Tanner.
Dr. Foley The mixed-race man in "Judgement Day," who buys the property Tanner and his friend Coleman are squatting on, Dr. Foley tells Tanner he has to work the whiskey still for him if he wants to stay on the land.
Mary Fortune Mary Fortune Pitts is the nine-year old granddaughter of Mr. Fortune in "A View of the Woods." She looks and acts like her grandfather but ultimately sides with her father against Mr. Fortune.
Mrs. Fox Mrs. Fox is Asbury's mother in "The Enduring Chill." She runs a successful dairy farm, has put her children through college, and takes care of Asbury when he come home ill.
Mr. Greenleaf Mr. Greenleaf in the story "Greenleaf" is a lower-class hired hand engaged in a long adversarial relationship with his employer, Mrs. May. He inadvertently is responsible for a bull's goring Mrs. May to death.
Mrs. Greenleaf In "Greenleaf," Mrs. Greenleaf practices a kind of personal, demonic Christianity in which she buries newspaper clippings dealing with tragedy and violence and then prays over them by groveling in the dirt.
Greenleaf twins The twin sons of Mr. and Mrs. Greenleaf, in "Greenleaf," O.T. and E.T. have prospered. They own their own farm, behave respectfully to their parents, and have more modern equipment than Mrs. May has.
Julian's mother In "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Julian's mother is a poor, genteel remnant of the Old South. She loves her son without reservation but infuriates him with her old ideas about race and class. Her condescension toward black people results in her death.
Mary George Mary George is Asbury's sister in "The Enduring Chill." An elementary school principal, she mocks her brother whom she sees as self-important and talentless.
Mary Grace In "Revelation," Mary Grace is the college student who attacks Mrs. Turpin in the doctor's office after the woman keeps repeating, "Thank you, Jesus!" Mary Grace calls the self-satisfied and bigoted Mrs. Turpin an "old wart hog" from hell.
Hooten In "Judgement Day," Hooten is a Georgia friend of Tanner's who Tanner imagines will meet his coffin when it is shipped home.
Rufus Johnson The delinquent 14-year-old in "The Lame Shall Enter First," Rufus Johnson is unrepentant about his bad deeds but is also a strong believer and has accepted that he will end up in hell unless he repents. He becomes the nemesis of his atheistic mentor Sheppard.
Morgan In "The Enduring Chill," Morgan is one of the black dairymen Asbury tries to befriend in his attempt to write a novel about the black experience.
The Negro "The Negro," also called "Preacher" by Tanner, is the black neighbor Tanner tries to befriend in "Judgement Day." The neighbor is an angry actor who has no intention of putting up with racial condescension and hastens Tanner's death at the end of the story.
Norton Norton is Sheppard's son in "The Lame Shall Enter First." He is bereft about his mother's death, but his father has no sympathy for him and simply thinks he is selfish. Norton becomes a sacrificial lamb in that his death becomes the agent for his father's realization of the full dimension of his own sinfulness.
Mr. Pitts Mr. Pitts is Mary Fortune's father in "A View of the Woods." He beats his daughter to get even with Mr. Fortune and to prove she belongs to him.
Mrs. Pitts Mrs. Pitts sides with her husband against her daughter, Mary Fortune, in the story "A View of the Woods."
Randall In "The Enduring Chill," Randall is one of the black dairymen Asbury tries to befriend when attempting to write a novel about the black experience. Randall says nothing when Asbury insists on drinking unpasteurized milk to spite his mother.
Scofield Scofield, in the story "Greenleaf," is the disrespectful and malicious son of Mrs. May, who sells insurance to poor black people.
Star Star Drake, also known as Sarah Ham, is a 19-year-old drifter caught passing bad checks in "The Comforts of Home." She is rescued from jail by Thomas's mother, who unsuccessfully attempts to reform her.
Stylish lady The "stylish lady" is Mary Grace's mother in "Revelation." In her conversation with Mrs. Turpin in the doctor's office, the stylish lady appears somewhat less judgmental than Mrs. Turpin.
Thomas's mother Thomas's mother in "The Comforts of Home" takes a 19-year-old waif and budding criminal under her wing, against the wishes of her son. This act of radical charity results in her death.
Tanner's daughter Tanner's daughter in "Judgement Day" lives in New York with her husband. After visiting him in the South, she takes her father back North because she objects to his living in poverty with a black man, although she herself lives in an integrated apartment building in New York. She has no intention of carrying out her father's wish to be buried back home in Georgia.
Mr. Claud Turpin Mr. Claud Turpin is Ruby Turpin's devoted husband, who supports her without judgment in "Revelation."
Wesley Wesley in the story "Greenleaf" is Mrs. May's lazy, intellectual son who seems to hate everybody and everything.
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