Representation of Gender in Ladies in Spring by Eudora Welty

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Born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1909 Eudora Welty was clearly influenced both by her mother’s love of reading and her father’s interest in photography. By 1931, when her father died of leukaemia, she had obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin and then attended Columbia University Graduate School of Business where she focused on advertising. Returning to Jackson she worked for Jackson’s first radio station followed by the Works Progress Administration. On her web site Margret Bing outlines the key activities of the WPA in 1935 as a Federal initiative to provide work for both blue and white collar workers. In the case of white collar workers this was particularly in the field of public art, music, theatre and writing (Bing). At this time Welty was engaged in taking photographs of Mississippi people. A collection of these photographs was published in 1971 in One Time One Place: Mississippi in the Depression: a Snapshot Album. In the introduction to the 1996 edition William Maxwell when commenting on her work quotes a sentence from her novel, The Optimist’s Daughter: “The mystery of how little we know of people is no greater than the mystery of how much” (5), which captures the lightness of touch she employs to signify the essence of the characters in Ladies in Spring. Welty went on to right a range of short stories and novels receiving recognition both in America and Europe until her death in 2001. This lightness of touch and photographer’s eye is also evident in the motif of colour used to sharpen the image particularly of the characters in her short story Ladies in Spring, as for example in, “dressed alike in overalls and faded coats, [...] one black headed, one tow headed” (1), Miss Hattie’s blac... ... middle of paper ... ... creation of communities, who is responsible for setting the moral standards and is it now the responsibility of women? Bibliography Bing, Margaret. “A Brief Overview of the WPA.” The Bienes Museum of The Modern Book. 07 04 2010 . Kincaid, James R. “Introduction to Idylls of the King.” 2001. Victorian Web. 07 04 2010 . Watson, Ruth D. “Reticent Beauty and Promiscuous Joy: Textual Framing in Eudora Welty's "The Bride of Innisfallen and Other Stories".” Southern Literary Journal Spring (2000): 42-58. Welty, Eudora. “Ladies in Spring.” Ford, Richard. The New Granta Book of the American Short Story. London: Granta Books, 2007. 1-13. —. One Time One Place: Mississippi in the Depression: a Snapshot Album. Mississippi: University Press Mississippi, 1996.

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