Directions:This reading – Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything that Rises Must Converge” – is located in the back of your They Say / I Say textbook. Page numbers may vary based on edition. As a class, you are going to discuss O’Connor’s “Everything that Rises Must Converge.” To receive credit, everyone must post one thread and one reply. (This discussion will not only help you work through ideas for your upcoming essay, it also may give you ideas for how to approach your essay!)Prompt:In your post, answer the following questions in essay format:1. In Ch 15 of They Say / I Say, the authors write, “literary works often present the perspectives of a number of different characters and then leaves it to readers to decide which if any speaks for the author” (189). Is there a character that displays what you believe to be O’Connor’s own perspective on the issues raised in the story? Try to explain your ideas.2. In Ch 15 of They Say / I Say, the authors suggest that we, “look for the conflict or debate in the literary work itself and then ask us what that text is leading us to think about that concept” (190-1). What, in your opinion, is the most meaningful conflict in this story? What do you think O’Connor is leading us to believe or feel about this conflict?3. What are three quotes (formatted correctly according to MLA style) that show or support what you believe is her goal in the story?4. Clearly state what, in your opinion, was O’Connor’s goal in publishing this story? What do you think she hoped her readers would get out of the story? Did it work? Is that what you got out of the story?the link provide the story. https://thomasaquinas.edu/pdfs/alumni/everything-t…
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ENG 112 Humanities Essay
Assignment Overview
Prompt: Using quotes from the text, students will analyze their response to Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything
that Rises Must Converge” (They Say / I Say, pgs. 272-291).
Explanation: Based in Reader Response Theory, the student will notice, analyze, and explain his or her
response to the text. This response could be fueled by one’s religious views, lived experiences, attitudes
toward racial discrimination, etc. In essence, this paper challenges the student to become aware of his or her
responses to challenging issues and to try to understand how these responses influence the interpretation of a
text.
Skills used: This assignment requires students to use metacognitive strategies to help them understand the
way they learn and process information. This approach has been proven effective by many studies. Moreover,
students will practice critical reading and critical thinking strategies as well as organization and source
integration.
Rhetorical Context (Audience)


The audience for this paper is Dr. Labbe. When writing the paper, students should assume that she has
read the story. They should also assume that she is most interested in hearing what the students think
of the work, so personal response and ideas are the most important aspects of this assignment.
The second most important aspect of the assignment is that students use quotes from the text to help
Dr. Labbe understand how the students arrived at their various conclusions / interpretations.
○ Please note: Dr. Labbe does not want to read a series of random ideas. She wants to read a
thoughtful, personal response to a famous and challenging short story. Essays that do not
personally engage the story and the scholarship will not receive a passing grade.
Basic Requirements







All requirements noted above are met
Prose meets expectations of standard adult literacy
Length: 750 words minimum
Genre: Literary Analysis Essay (Humanities Discipline)
Format: MLA in-text citations (See A Writer’s Reference, pgs. 403-464)
Format: MLA (including Works Cited)
Plagiarism statement in syllabus applies here
How to avoid plagiarism
● Write the paper yourself with assistance only from trained professionals, such as those at Tutor.com and the
writing center.
● Place quotation marks around all words directly taken from a source and include a citation, i.e. (O’Connor 272)
at the end of it.
● Any summaries or paraphrases need to be followed by an in-text / parenthetical citation, i.e. (O’Connor 272)
● Introduce others’ ideas and words by using a signal phrase, such as: According to David Jauss, “[b]y subtly
calling our attention to St. Julian and the story of his life, O’Connor transforms this story of a tragic bus trip to
the Y into an ironic, inverted saint’s legend” (np). See They Say / I Say for dozens of examples of signal
phrases.
Starter Thesis Statements:
(Note: Please be sure to make this unique to your interpretation; do not copy exactly as that is plagiarism.)

Formula: Topic sentence of paragraph 3 and topic sentence of paragraph 4 reworded to flow into one
another. For example (see Student Example #2):
○ Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge” caught my attention because it
showed the difference between the new generation and old generation in the South. Since the
main tension between the old and new generations is racism, being a young, educated, black
woman in today’s society influenced my reaction to the story.
○ I found Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge” interesting because I can
relate to dealing with tension that arises between two generations, symbolized by Julian and his
Mother in the story. While reading this story, I realized that I am like Julian in a few ways
because I have experienced the differences and understand the struggle between two different
generations by observing my grandfather’s struggles, my mother’s racism, and my family’s
perspective on interracial dating.

My personal response to Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything that Rises Must Converge” is one of
discomfort, which is due to my disapproval of discrimination in any form. This tension is most apparent
in ____________ (characters/scenes/etc. from story – whatever you plan to focus on in paragraph 3).

Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything that Rises Must Converge” captured my interest because it explores
racial tension in the South, which has deeply influenced my life due to ________. The racial tension
that I plan to focus on in the story involves ______ (characters/scenes/conflicts as noted in paragraph
3).

I was intrigued by the religious allusions in “Everything that Rises Must Converge” by Flannery
O’Connor likely because I was raised in the Episcopal Church and grew up being very aware of
godliness and good Christianhood. The religious allusions in the story center on ____________
(character/events discussed in paragraph 3).
Sample Outline
HINT: Remember the MEAL plan for structuring body paragraphs: Main idea (topic sentence), Evidence
(quotes), Analysis (why you chose these quotes) and Link (back to the thesis)
Paragraph 1: Introduction
● What is an interesting fact, quote, or insight that will catch the audience’s interest as they start your
paper?
● What is the overall organization of your paper? What kinds of information and analysis are you going to
provide?
● What is your thesis?
Paragraph 2: Summary of Story
● Who is the author and what is the title of the work?
● Who are the characters in the story?
● What is the setting of the story?
● What conflicts drive the story?
● What happens at the end of the story?
Paragraph 3: Analysis of story
● What is O’Connor’s goal in writing this story? What message speaks to you the most?
● What three quotes best relate to this goal or message? How, exactly, do they reflect O’Connor’s goal?
● Did you remember to use signal phrases and to cite parenthetically?
Paragraph 4: Personal response to story
● What three aspects of your life and background influenced your reaction to the story? (Use these to
build your topic sentence: i.e. “I have experienced the differences and understand the struggle between



two different generations by observing my grandfather’s struggles, my mother’s racism, and my family’s
perspective on interracial dating.”)
How did each of those aspects influence your reaction to the story?
What personal awareness have you gained by analyzing your response to the story?
As you reflected on the story, did your response change? How so? If not, why not?
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
● What is the main message you’d like the audience to take away from your essay?
● What have you observed, learned, or realized about your reading strategies from this assignment?
● What have you observed, learned, or realized about your response strategies from this assignment?
● How can you carry forward some aspect of this assignment? How can you apply any of the skills
practiced here to other 1) materials, 2) classes, and 3) life experiences?

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