Read “Everything That Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor (TS/IS 272-291) several times, and highlight or underline any important passages that catch your attention for one reason or another.

In your in-class essay, I would like you to work with the following items (in this order):

First, summarize the story in your own words. Do not quote the text, but explain the characters’ main ideas as best you can. Try to keep your summary between 1-2 paragraphs long.

Secondly, draw attention to what you feel is the author’s main point or thesis—what is O’Connor trying to get us to understand in her story? With which character are we supposed to sympathize? Are we supposed to agree that slavery is bad, or does O’Connor have another point entirely that she is trying to make? Be sure to use logic and examples to develop your argument.

Thirdly, try to apply the message and meaning of the story to your own life: what can you learn about yourself from O’Connor’s story? Be honest here—everyone will have different answers for this final section. You may quote directly (using quotation marks per MLA style guidelines) if you choose; then, explain the significance of the quote as it relates to the rest of the essay. Use your powers of interpretation and explanation here.

Be sure to proofread, edit and use plenty of detail.