Everything That Rises Must Converge

Carver’s Mother Character Analysis

A black woman who boards the bus Julian and Julian’s Mother are riding. She wears a gaudy hat identical to Julian’s Mother’s and has a similarly antagonistic relationship with her son, commonalities striking enough to lead Julian to conclude that Carver’s Mother is Julian’s Mother’s “black double.” Like Julian’s Mother, Carver’s Mother is also immensely proud, so much so that when she perceives Julian’s Mother’s gift of a penny to Carver as condescending, she strikes Julian’s Mother with her purse.

Carver’s Mother Quotes in Everything That Rises Must Converge

The Everything That Rises Must Converge quotes below are all either spoken by Carver’s Mother or refer to Carver’s Mother. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Similarity, and Difference Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus, and Giroux edition of Everything That Rises Must Converge published in 1971.
Everything That Rises Must Converge Quotes

“… and she said, ‘If you ask me, that hat does something for you and you do something for that hat, and besides,’ she said, ‘with that hat, you won’t meet yourself coming and going.’”

Related Characters: Julian’s Mother (speaker), Carver’s Mother
Related Symbols: The Hat
Page Number: 407
Explanation and Analysis:
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She kept her eyes on the woman and an amused smile came over her face as if the woman were a monkey that had stolen her hat.

Related Characters: Julian’s Mother, Carver’s Mother
Related Symbols: The Hat
Page Number: 416
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Then all at once she seemed to explode like a piece of machinery that had been given one ounce of pressure too much. Julian saw the black fist swing out with the red pocketbook. He shut his eyes and cringed as he heard the woman shout, “He don’t take nobody’s pennies!”

Related Characters: Julian, Carver’s Mother
Related Symbols: The Penny
Page Number: 418
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Carver’s Mother Character Timeline in Everything That Rises Must Converge

The timeline below shows where the character Carver’s Mother appears in Everything That Rises Must Converge. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Everything That Rises Must Converge
Racism, Similarity, and Difference Theme Icon
Family Conflict and Generational Struggle Theme Icon
...man who has returned to his Southern hometown after graduating from college, is upset with  his Mother . She has begun to attend a weekly exercise class at her doctor’s orders, and... (full context)
Racism, Similarity, and Difference Theme Icon
Reality vs. Perception Theme Icon
Family Conflict and Generational Struggle Theme Icon
...him from his hated surroundings and allowing him to see his mother with “absolute clarity.” His Mother on the other hand, lives “according to the laws of her own fantasy world, outside... (full context)
Racism, Similarity, and Difference Theme Icon
Reality vs. Perception Theme Icon
Social Order and Disorder Theme Icon
Family Conflict and Generational Struggle Theme Icon
...and her dapper little boy, Carver. Carver takes the seat next to Julian’s Mother and Carver’s Mother takes the seat next to Julian, a circumstance which appears to annoy both Julian’s Mother... (full context)
Racism, Similarity, and Difference Theme Icon
Family Conflict and Generational Struggle Theme Icon
Carver’s Mother orders Carver to leave his seat next to Julian’s Mother to come stand by her.... (full context)
Reality vs. Perception Theme Icon
Family Conflict and Generational Struggle Theme Icon
...the same time, Julian has a terrible premonition that, after they depart the bus together, his Mother will try to give Carver a nickel. As they exit the bus, Julian’s Mother does,... (full context)
Racism, Similarity, and Difference Theme Icon
Reality vs. Perception Theme Icon
Social Order and Disorder Theme Icon
As Carver and his Mother are walking away, Julian’s Mother calls out to Carver, runs after him, and offers him... (full context)
Racism, Similarity, and Difference Theme Icon
Reality vs. Perception Theme Icon
Social Order and Disorder Theme Icon
Family Conflict and Generational Struggle Theme Icon
Julian goes to grab his Mother ’s arm, hoping to redirect her to a homebound bus, but as he does so,... (full context)