Underlying Messages in Everything That Rises Must Converge and Good Country People

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Underlying Messages in Everything That Rises Must Converge and Good Country People

Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge" and "Good Country People" have extremely complex story lines. What makes these stories so involved is how the characters relate to others. Discovering who the characters in the stories are and what they represent becomes the reader's purpose and goal. In order to truly understand her stories the reader must look deeper than the surface. The underlying messages must be searched for as a person looking for hidden treasure.

In the first story the character Julian is the key to unlocking the meaning behind the story. Julian has gone to college and has developed
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The mansion that is brought up in conversation between Julian and his mother is symbolic of the old South. Julian's thoughts concerning the mansion are confused. "He never spoke of it without contempt or thought of it without longing" (1082). This is the point to which Julian has brought himself. Because he will not allow himself to feel, there is confusion in his contradictions. Booth argues this shows "that in his own way he is as far out of touch with reality as he takes his mother to be" (1634).

In the second story Hulga is in a position very much like Julian's. She has also been well educated. And like Julian, she sees herself as superior to those around her. Instead of overcoming the past, Hulga must overcome the cliches and maxims that dominate her world. All the characters in this story live their lives based on certain truths. Hulga, whose was named Joy, changes her name to spite her mother. Just like Julian, Hulga also finds herself at odds with her mother. She chooses this name because it represents all the distastefulness she sees in herself and the rest of humanity.

There is one thing that Hulga is particularly sensitive about, her artificial leg. It has replaced her leg that had been blown off in a hunting accident when she was a young girl. "She took care of it as someone else would his soul [. . .]" (1103). Hulga

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