What Lies Behind Family Relationships "
AUTHOR: Eudora Welty"
SHORT STORY: « Why I Live at the P.O. »"
BIOGRAPHY: According to the entry « Eudora Welty » found on Wikipedia, Eudora Alice Welty was an American author and photographer, well-known for working on the South American theme. She began higher education at the University of Wisconsin, then went to New York, where she studied at Columbia University until 1931. Unable to find a job on the East Coast because of unemployment due to the Great Depression, she went back to her her native city Jackson, Mississippi. She started to publish short stories in magazines from 1936 and rapidly acquired notoriety as a short story writer, managing to carefully describe the culture and the racial issues of the South. Each publication of her short stories collections was considered as a literary event. In 1956, her novel The Pounder Heart, adapted by Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, achieved great success on Broadway. In 1975, her enchanting novel The Robber Bridegroom became a musical. In 1973, Eudora Welty received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Optimist’s Daughter. Three years earlier, she published a collection of photographs that she had taken herself in the years 1930 and 1940, One Time, one Place: Mississippi in the Depression: a work intending to depict the harsh living conditions in Mississippi during the Great Depression. In 1984, at the request of Harvard University Press, she put on paper a lecture that she gave the year before to the students: the work became a bestseller. She died of pneumonia in 2001.
SHORT STORY (PART 1): The plot in « Why I Live at the P.O. » starts off with Sister’s sister Stella-Rondo returning to the family home on the Fourth of July after lea...
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...d as a National Historic Landmark. "
THREE PIECES OF INFORMATION I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT ABOUT EUDORA WELTY: Why did she never marry? Would her work have been different if she had stayed in New York? Did she have problems with her family like her protagonist Sister?"
HYPOTHETICAL INTRODUCTION: Eudora Welty’s short story « Why I Live at the P.O. » is a story of family relationships. The narrator, Sister, imposes her point of view to the reader about the disturbing return of her sister, Stella-Rondo. By confronting Stella-Rondo, Sister gradually becomes a stranger to her family, and eventually leaves the family home to live in the post office where she works. In this paper, I will question the point of view of the narrator, who is rather unreliable. Also, I will analyze how denial can lead to isolation. Finally, I will study how Welty’s use of irony affects the story.