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Theme of Race Relations in 2 Stories

This study will examine the theme of race relations and tension as portrayed and explored by Flannery O'Connor in her story "Everything That Rises Must Converge" and by Eudora Welty in her story "A Worn Path." The O'Connor story addresses racism from the white perspective, while the Welty story addresses it from the black perspective. This study will argue that in both cases, racism is a result of people having a view of life which they cannot let go of, or which they refuse to let go of.

Phoenix, the old black woman in "A Worn Path," is a product of slavery. She "was too old at the Surrender" of the South at the end of the Civil War to "go to school" (1657), which means that she was no longer a piece of property, but she never really achieved freedom. She came to accept race relations as they were defined by white people. She accepted herself as a passive and inferior being in a society controlled and run by white people. She also accepted her role as a black woman who was meant to be subservient to others as well. The only tension she feels in race relations is making sure that she does everything she can to stay in her place and not upset white people. Again, the most important point to remember about Welty's story is that it takes place in a time when there was little questioning of basic white-black relations. Many blacks and most whites, unfortunately, believed that whites were meant to be in the superior position in society, and blacks were meant to be in the inferior position. Those who disagreed with this racist society did not have much hope of changing it.

On the other hand, we find in O'Connor's story a completely different situation and a completely different society. The civil rights movement has obviously been under way for some time in this story, and the old racial arrangements are coming apart at the seams. The racial tension in this story, then, is much greater than in the Welty story. Julian's mother in "Ever...

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Theme of Race Relations in 2 Stories. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 14:01, March 19, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1682700.html