What is a bigot? Is Julian a bigot? Why or why not?
A basic definition of bigot is a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions. I
would have to agree with both of you. Julian may not present as a bigot to the strangers he meets
but he does come off as a bigot towards his mother. He doesn’t agree with what his mom thinks
and therefore holds himself higher as a person and looks down on his mother. He uses the people
on the bus against his mom to make her feel bad for her thoughts because he doesn’t accept what
his mom thinks as an acceptable opinion. This bigotry is what brings on his guilt and feeling bad
for his behavior. It’s hard to say if he would be a bigot to another person with his moms opinions
or if he is more strongly a bigot towards her because he has an internal frustration and vendetta
A bigot is someone who is intolerant towards others who have different opinions of the ones they
have. When first looking at how he treats his mother and her pinions it might be thought that he is
bigoted towards her but I think that he really just wants to open her up and make her see more
updated views. She is resistant to the fact the bus is desegregated and thinks she should give black
children money and treat the blacks like lower class citizens. He has more current thinking and
like to make his mom angry with his thinking. If he was bigoted then he wouldn’t of sat beside the
first black man and would of stayed in the seat by his mother.
A bigot is someone who is intolerable towards another who has a different opinion. I think Julian
is a bigot. I think this because throughout the story he doesn't want to hear this mother's opinion
about black people and how the world functioned during that time. In the story, as Julian's
mother explains to him about his family history and how his great-grandfather used to own
slaves, both of them have a disagreement about slaves being free. As his mother expresses her
opinion, he tells her that they need to "skip it" and move on (Charters, p.680-681). Depending on
your views, good or bad, Julian's mother has her opinion about slavery. Her opinion is something
he does not want to hear. His attitude towards his mother is negative and tells her to be quiet and
does not want to listen to a word about her opinion, an opinion that is different than his.
Explain how "Jesus thrown everything off balance" for the Misfit.
Jesus throws everything off for the Misfit because he challenges Jesus. As a child he said he was
curious and he needed to know everything. This forced him to challenge Jesus and what Jesus
would and could really do for him. He did know if the existence of Jesus was real or not. In my
guess, this is what pressed him to doing what he did and becoming the Misfit. By claiming Jesus
threw him off is insinuating that he doesn’t actually accept responsibility for his actions. Or he
does but there for in his mind proves Jesus is not real because he did not save him. He is now the
Misfit and he blames Jesus for that in a way.
I think he meant that whether or not he raised the dead or not, it gave reason to do whatever you
want (mainly bad things) to others. If he raised the dead then you don't have to worry about dying
at anytime because then you could be raised once again to live with him. If he never raised the
dead, then basically you should live how you want to for the amount of time you have on this earth
(live for today type of scenario). So on one hand the Misfit could do whatever he wants because
there would be no consequence for him for the deeds he does no matter how bad it is. On the other
hand the person who is being treated bad doesn't have to worry because they are going to be
"saved". So no matter what, the Misfit sees it as a "hall pass" for what he wants to do.
He threw everything off because he has been in and out of trouble and he doesn't know what he
did to get sent to prison. Nobody told him what he did when he asked. He is just super confusing
and he blames Jesus for throwing his life away and know he's a bad man when he once was good
man. He wasted a lot of time behind bars and thought he was there because of religious things so
that's why he said Jesus threw everything off balance.
3. Julian's Mother is described as an "innocent." How do you reconcile her racism with her
Julian’s mother seemed to be raised in the time where it was unheard of to associate with other
races and ethnic groups. She seemed to accept the children as sweet and poor and to feel sorry for
them but criticize the adults. Her innocence is with the children and not the adults. It is almost like
she pity’s them for being born of another race and the life they have to look forward to would not
be like that of the white culture. Julian try’s to help his mother understand that other groups aside
from white’s are the same as everyone else, it’s just skin color.
Julian's mother despite her racist behavior doesn’t hold animosity towards black people. When
Julian's mother tries to give the boy Carver a penny she originally wanted to give him a nickel but
she didn’t have a nickel to give. She smiled at the boy and wanted to do something nice for him
during this encounter. The innocence refers to her lack of hatred and contempt towards black
people. She genuinely believes blacks were better off as slaves and when she tries to do something
nice for a black kid she’s totally unaware of how patronizing and racist the gesture was.
Julian's mother is described as innocent because from what we know she hasn't done anything bad.
Although being racist is not a positive thing to be, but it doesn't make her non-innocent. By seeing
this character acting racist, the reader can start to think lowly of her. To be innocent can mean a
lot of things to people. It can mean to be free of all sins, free of all moral sins, or free from doing
bad things in the world. It depends on someone's view of innocents. I think she is innocent from
the actions we know she has taken in life. So far, we know she hasn't committed any crimes or
done harmful things to others (not including her spoken views on colored people). I don't believe
she is innocent, morally, by the way she treats colored people poorly.
4. Julian states that he isn't dominated by his mother. Is this so? In what ways does he depend on
He thinks his own thoughts and feels his own feelings, all in seeming opposition to his mother’s
and how he was raised. He isn’t absorbed by the past and his ancestry like she is. He went to
college and his mind is open to other people and other beliefs. Hers is closed and racist. He believes
he lives in the real world of now and she is stuck in the past. Therefore, he feels that since she did
not make him into her, she has no dominance over him. However, he is utterly dependent on her
for all things material and financial.
Although Julian claims he is not dominated by his mother, it becomes clear very early on that his
entire existence revolves around his mother. To begin, he defines his place in life by the status he
believes she has given him. Despite receiving the gift of higher education, Julian hangs on to the
poverty in which he grew up. His internalization of this impoverished identity prevents him from
seeing past his current job and striving for more. At the same time, he develops a sense of false
enlightenment by comparing himself to his mother’s archaic social views. This sense of
enlightenment and righteousness prevents Julian from seeing that although he does not share the
same views as his mother, he is racist in entirely different ways. Finally, Julian depends on her
for financial stability. Although he abhors the part of town they live in, Julian, a capable young
man, does not make any moves to leave. Instead, Julian places the brunt of his existence on his
mother, an elderly woman who is ill.
Julian doesn’t feel like he is dominated by his mother because he thinks for himself, not blindly
following the teachings of his mother, feels because of his education that he is more intelligent
than his mother, and that he was not prejudice like his mother. His attitudes and behaviors are
very different from his mother’s and it caused tension between them and he took his mother on the
bus every week out of obligation to her, so he wasn’t really dominated by her. In spite of not being
dominated, he was dependent on her financially, apparently not being a successful typewriter sales
person or a writer. We get the impression that he lives with her and we learn that she paid for his
college education by herself, since she is a widow, and she paid for his teeth being straightened.
5. Make a list of five elements (people, places, things, details) in one of the stories that have
symbolic significance and/or meaning and why (that is, apply New Criticism to the story).
1. Julian’s mother having grown up around a booming plantation helps to understand where her
bigotry comes from and why she doesn’t see it herself.
2. Julian’s mother playing with the black child shows that Julian’s mother is not as hateful as Julian
believes her to be, she is simply a product of the Old South.
3. Julian’s mother almost breaking into a laugh over the hat cements the idea that Julian’s mother
is not as awful as he views her. In a moment wrought with tension, Julian’s mother conjures up
the saleswoman’s pitch and found humor in the situation.
4. The plantation: I believe that because Julian was able to see the plantation but never to the
degree to which his mother did, he developed a deep resentment toward her. When comparing his
more modest upbringing to his mother’s, he was unable to cope with his situation. Indeed, he had
only grown up being told who he was while she lived it.
5. Julian’s reaction to his mother’s stroke was the moment that Julian came to the realization that
despite his animosity and her flaws, he loved his mother.
I have decided to make this list from the story "Everything That Rises Must Converge".
The first element of this story would be the fact that Julian's Mother needs to lose twenty pounds
according to a Doctor. In order to do this, the mother must travel downtown on a bus to the meeting.
The Mother insists that Julian travel with her as the bus system has been integrated. This gives the
reader instant insight of what Julian's mother thinks of a different race.
Second element is Julian himself. Julian is explained in detail in emotion and thoughts. This is
apparent as he is waiting on his mother who is trying on a new hat and he thinks its ugly but tells
her it looks great just to get her out the door. He also hates how the mother thinks less of others
according to their race.
Third element is the location they are heading to in the bus which is downtown. Julian's mother
chose the class location due to the group of her kind, but also the fact it was free.
Fourth element is the other people on the bus. First part of the ride it is clear it is only white people.
But the attitude of the riders change when a black mother boards the bus with her child. This gives
the element of the mood of the people in that time frame.
The fifth element would be the changing of times with the fact that the mother tried to give the
child a coin, which in her mind was good. But the mother saw this as a cheap move, or even racist,
and lashed out at her. This element shows the change between generations and their ideas.
I chose "A good man is hard to find" to talk about. The first thing that I think had meaning is the
grandmothers white gloves. I think the color (white) of her gloves signifies the safety she used to
feel. At the time she didn't seem so safe but she seemed to be stuck in her time. Always thinking
of the past. Another thing is when Bailey says "this is the only time we're going to stop for anything
like this. This is the one and only time." He says this when the kids want to go see the secret at the
house. After reading the story for a second time I thought, that really was going to be the last time
they stopped for anything at all since they ended up dying. I think the author made Bailey say this
for a reason. The third thing is when they turned into the road for the house. They had to turn so it
could be significant. The meaning being that they took the wrong turn. They took the wrong turn
of their lives. The fourth thing I looked at was when they were in the ditch. The meaning of being
in the ditch is that the family was pretty much stuck in a hole without being able to get out. The
last thing is when the grandmother died. She died smiling staring at the sky. The meaning would
be that she wasn't truly dying. Her death only meant going to heaven and living eternal life.
What events trigger moments of self-revelation or epiphany for O'Connor's characters?
In "A good man is hard to find" I think the only epiphany that occurs is right before the accident
occurs and the grandmother realizes she has taken the family on the side trip to see a house in the
wrong state. O'Connor stated that she was so embarrassed that her face turned red and that she
shook her leg so hard that the hidden cat went flying to Baileys shoulder causing the accident down
the embankment. In "Everything that rises must converge" Julian has a self-revelation when his
mother fell to the ground after the disagreement with her son when the black women smacked her.
He realized how far he has pushed her and feels guilty.
I would say that in the story "a good man is hard to find" the part where they were going on a road
trip and things were going good and they wanted to check a house out so the dad finally agreed
and they turned down the road and all of a sudden got in a wreck and things went downhill when
the misfit showed up and then the grandma realized the house was really in a different state and
they ended up dying. I didn't see that coming.
In Everything that Rises, Julian’s moment of epiphany came when his mother stroked out. All his
disdain, all his smugness, were gone. He suddenly realized the depth of his connection to his
mother, despite his assertions that he had no feeling for her. The last line of the story described his
immediate entry into the world of guilt and sorrow. The moment of self-revelation in A Good Man
comes to the Grandmother when she pulled out of her own selfishness and feels a bond between
herself and the Misfit, calling him one of her own babies. The Grandmother, attuned to only her
own desires, brought along the cat that caused the whole accident that left them to the likes of the
Misfit and his gang. That self-absorption disappeared in that one moment.
7. Why are the children John Wesley and June Star so awful? Why is their mother mostly silent
and described as having a cabbage for a head?
They are so awful because they don't have a filter and especially how their grandma talks in front
of them it doesn't put a good role model in their eyes. They are at the age where they are curious
about everything, don't know from right or wrong, they argue and fight just like any kids, and they
don't listen much at all. They get their way whenever they want as you can see by them just
throwing a fit in the car to see the house. They are rough and loud. Their mother is so quiet and
doesn't say anything if I'm right. She kind of just tags along, I think she isn't happy with her life
and her kids don't listen. Her husband takes over and is in charge.
They are awful because they are spoiled white children. They seem to get there way if they whine
or scream loud enough to annoy their father enough to get what they wanted. They seem to
disrespect everyone and everything in their life. The grandmother is talked down about right in
front of her and when they speak or other states or places the children talk down about them as
well as if they are above and better then everything. Their mother seems silent because she is just
seen as a caretaker. Someone who does the house work and takes care of the kids. The father is
the strong roll but all in all its almost as if the kids and or kids and grandmother run the home with
their wants and needs. Cabbage for a head because possibly she is in their minds quiet and
nothingness, some thing unfortunately seen as not important.
The reason the children are so awful is because the parents don't talk to them at all and if they do
it's not in a nice manner. And when the kids act up the parents don't say anything at all. For example
when John Wesley was kicking the back of his fathers seat in the car, the father did not say anything
to him until he finally exploded and yelled shut up. I think the Author was trying to show us the
children's personalities and the type of character they are by telling us how awful they were. So
the author didn't directly tell us they were bad mannered. Instead the author showed us. The mom
is a flat character. She doesn't really have any personality and for that reason she is silent most of
the time. She was described as having a cabbage as a head because it's almost like she was just
there. She had a blank mind. She didn't think or have many thoughts.
8. Are the characters in O'Connor's stories "flat" or "round"? How do they change (if they do)?
Do they have traits that contradict each other?
From the story "Everything that Rises Must Converge," Julian and his mother are "round." Both
change from the beginning of the story. They change by the reader getting to know their characters
more. As we read the story, the author gives us information about the two characters personalities
and opinions. They are not flat character compared to Bailey and his wife in the story "A Good
Man is Hard to Find." These two characters stay the same throughout the story. They don't evolve.
Also in "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the grandmother is a round character. We find the most
out about her character than the rest of her family. Her history and personality grew and shown to
O'Conner has both characters, both flat and round. In "Everything that Rises Must Converge" the
mother and father are flat characters. This is because they don't have many character traits. They
are not talked about much and they don't really get focused on in the story. I think the children are
also flat characters because the characteristic they have is mostly just rude. The grandmother on
the other hand I think is a round character. This is because she changes in the end of the story. In
the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" I think both the son and the mother are round characters.
This is because they both kind of change towards the end. The son is very resentful of his mother.
But in the end he is so worried about what is happening to his mother and sets all resentment aside.
The mother in the beginning was very rough and always in a way wanted her son to show he cared
for her. In the end when she is suffering, it's like she became soft and helpless. And had to depend
on her son for help.
We do know a lot about the grandmother, she gets an epiphany, making her round. We also know
that The Misfit changes from childhood, making him round, though his change is from good to
bad. Bailey, his wife and children as well as the two others with The Misfit are very flat characters,
we don’t see any change in their characters at all nor do they have any epiphanies. In the story
“Everything that Rises must Converge”, the mother is flat, while we do know a lot about her, she
doesn’t change or have an epiphany. Julian does show change, he starts out being embarrassed by
his mother and tries to teach her a lesson, showing no concern for her. In the end, he does show
that he really does care about her. All the other characters that we meet, such as the well dressed
man on the bus, the child and his mother, they are al ...
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