Everything That Rises Must Converge Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Describe Julian's mother's hat in the story "Everything That Rises Must Converge."

The hat Julian's mother has purchased is one that she "splurged on," paying more than she usually does. It has a purple velvet flap that comes down on one side and rises up on the other. The top part of the hat is green and looks "like a cushion with the stuffing coming out of it."

2. What is the significance of Julian's mother's hat in the story "Everything That Rises Must Converge"?

It a symbol of her desire to maintain a certain genteel image. She waffles about paying so much for the hat because she cannot afford it so she looks to Julian for reassurance that it suits her. The hat takes on another significance when a black woman ends up wearing the same hat on the bus. Julian's mother believes it places her in an elite class that is untouchable by blacks. However, when the black woman is wearing the same hat it shows that there are equal opportunities available to women of both races and that the old social class system no longer exists.

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