"Why I Live at the P.O" by Eudora Welty Essay examples

"Why I Live at the P.O" by Eudora Welty Essay examples

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Often when children are spoiled, they develop a sense of superiority to those around them. However, after leaving the closed environment of a household, the need for authority and supremacy can create unintended consequences imbedded with sorrow. The fallout from this misfortune is seen in “Why I Live at the P.O.” in the family quarrel that ensues due to the return of Stella-Rondo. Throughout the narration, the author asserts that because, the world is apathetic to one’s dilemmas, a shielded and pampered upbringing can only hamper personal development. Through the denial of truth that the family exhibits in attempts to improve relations and through the jealousy that Sister experiences as inferior to Stella-Rondo, the source of hindered maturity is exemplified.

The author uses the denial and concealment of truth in order to reiterate that in the closed environment of the household, pampered upbringing only yields to immaturity in the outside world. In the narration, Stella-Rondo easily regains the position of the family “favorite” through the lies she produces and the family’s seeming acceptance of these lies as pure truths. In fact, however, Mama constantly questions these lies. She reprimands Sister for suggesting that Shirley-T is Stella-Rondo’s biological daughter, but she herself wonders how Stella-Rondo could possibly prove that Shirley-T is adopted. Later, she links Shirley-T’s silence and strange behavior to Mr. Whitaker’s consumption of chemicals, suggesting that she knows that Mr. Whitaker is, in fact, Shirley-T’s biological father. The author uses this characterization of Mama in order to show, that rather than not understanding the difference between truth and lies, she prefers one version over another, therefore...


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...ll wants and desires often results in a future filled with deep sadness. However, children do not degenerate by themselves; rather they are not spoiled till those of influential stature in the eyes of the children sink in to the corruption of favoritism. Even though times have changed, this corruption present in “Why I Live at the P.O” is analogous to what favoritism is today. In the modern world, partiality towards a certain child usually comes from strong feelings of love that bury themselves in an prominent figure’s mind and subconsciously spoil the child. This irony, that amplified love actually causes one to suffer later in life, depicts the broader issue that by getting one used to an imaginary life where all desires are fulfilled, he or she cannot accept the fact of human nature that, outside the household, people are indifferent to another person’s wishes.

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Eudora Welty's Why I Live at the P.O. Essay

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