Katherine Anne Porter’s Life Essays

Katherine Anne Porter’s Life Essays

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Biography
Callie Russell Porter, the fourth of five children, was born on May 15, 1890 in Indian Creek, Texas. After her mother, Mary Alice (Jones) Porter, died of tuberculosis or bronchitis when Porter was two years old, her father, Harrison Boone, took her and her siblings to their grandmother's home in Kyle, Texas. Porter was enrolled in public and private schools until the age of 15. One of the schools she attended was called Thomas School, a private Methodist school located in San Antonio, Texas, for one year in 1904 where she had her only formal education after grammar school. Porter's grandmother, Catherine Porter, was a great storyteller who provided her with an early appreciation of fiction.
When Porter was 16, she married a man named John Henry Koontz, the son of a wealthy Texas ranching company, in 1906. He was physically abusive and even threw her down the stairs while he was drunk, leaving Porter with a broken ankle. They later divorced in 1915 and legally changed her name to Katherine Anne Porter, influenced by her grandmother, as part of her divorce decree from Koontz. Porter remarried several times. In 1926, she married Ernest Stock and briefly lived in Connecticut before divorcing Stock in 1927. Then in 1933, Porter married Eugene Dove Pressly and divorced him in 1938. That same year, she married again to a man named Albert Erskine Jr. and divorced him in 1942.
Later in 1915, Porter contracted tuberculosis and was put in the Carlsbad Sanitarium for two years in San Antonio, Texas. There, she decided to become a professional writer and journalist instead of an actress. In order to achieve her goals, Porter "practiced writing in every possible way" (Peacock 188) that she could. She then began working as a journal...


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...olence,” and dies (The Martyr 37). The theme for “The Martyr,” is the appearance of death. Rubén turns to food to cope with his depression instead of continuing with his artwork or finding something else less destructive to distract him from Isabel. Because he consumes an unhealthy amount of food to cope with his depression, he ends up dying.
Some of the literary elements that can be found in Porter’s stories, such as “Theft” and “The Martyr,” are characterization, conflict, and theme. The women in Porter’s stories reflected how life realistically was in the nineteenth century. It was hard for women to be independent because men would always do things for them and not listen to what they had to say. Almost all women wanted their own independence, but their fate was most likely made up by men’s controlling actions by trying to create women into whatever they wanted.

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