Everything That Rises Must Converge

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Main Ideas

Motifs

Main Ideas Motifs

Social Conduct

Julian’s mother believes that social conduct reflects a person’s true nature, whereas Julian believes that social conduct reveals an unwillingness to adapt to social change. Julian’s mother pays slavish attention to her manners and behavior, believing that the way a person does things reflects who they truly are. She emphasizes dressing well and behaving graciously, especially when in public. Although her family is no longer wealthy, she still conducts herself as though she is a woman of importance. Julian has an altogether different view of social conduct, believing that the content of a person’s mind reveals who they are. He believes that his intellectual views, not his dress or manners, dictate who he is. Julian’s mother’s strict adherence to social conduct infuriates Julian, who believes that her actions demonstrate her ignorance and unwillingness to accept her lower social standing in a rapidly changing society.