In "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Julian says, “knowing who you are is good for one generation only,” while his mother says, “You remain what you are." What does each of them mean?
Julian’s mother draws her sense of identity from the past, from the lives of her upper-class ancestors. Her adult life in no way resembles that of her forefathers: while her ancestors owned a plantation and slaves, she is working class and lives in a poor area of the city. However, she does not identify with her present life, and works to present herself as genteel. She worked extra jobs to pay for Julian’s college because men in the family in the past...
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