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An Essay on Katherine Anne Porter

Powerful Essays
Good writing should entertain you and great writing should stay with you and

cause you to think.

When I first read some of Miss Porter’s work, I came away feeling depressed, empty and wondering why she even wrote. Her stories seemed unfinished, incomplete and pointless. However, I find myself thinking about those works, discovering new things and realizing a deeper meaning in the stories.

Katherine Anne Porter’s stories are brilliant, vivid snapshots of lives, and reveal the foolishness of man. Everyone sees life from their own perspective and bases their actions and thoughts on personal experiences. Some of her characters will never see past their own noses, while others cannot get the courage to change. Reality clashes with dreams in many stories, and can leave disillusionment or despair.

In Miss Porter’s short story, Maria Concepción, the title character finds her dream shattered when she discovers her husband is having an affair. The husband runs off with the other woman, but they return the next year. Maria Concepción loses her baby during the year, but the rival gives birth when she returns. Maria Concepción stabs her rival to death. Her husband (and the entire village) protect her and proclaim her innocence, even though they know she is guilty. In the end, she takes the rival’s baby as her own, and reclaims her husband. He is miserable, but she is happy. She has gotten what she wanted, and restored her dream. (Porter, Maria Concepción 9-27)

This should make us think about our own actions. Do the ends justify the means Is our dream worth the cost? Many live only for themselves and never consider the wants and needs of others. I believe Miss Porter intended the reader to think about these things and, perhap...

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.... Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer, Lee Marvin, Oskar Werner, Michael Dunn, Elizabeth Ashley, George Segal, José Greco and Heinz Rühmann. RCA/Columbia Pictures, 1965. Film.

This film was based on Katherine Anne Porter’s novel of the same name.

Stout, Janis P. Katherine Anne Porter: a Sense of the Times. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1995. Print.

This book represents an analytical biography of Katherine Anne Porter.

Tanner, James T. F. The Texas Legacy of Katherine Anne Porter. Denton (Tex.): University of North Texas, 1991. Print.

This book is a critical study of Katherine Anne Porter.

West, Jr., Ray B. “Katherine Anne Porter.” Seven American Women Writers of the Twentieth Century: an Introduction. Ed. Maureen Howard. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1977. 122-65. Print.

This book contains an essay on Katherine Anne Porter.
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