“A Sweet Devouring” by Eudora Welty analysis. Essay
Updated: Dec 23rd, 2018
The story “A Sweet Devouring” by Eudora Welty is written in a semi humorous but also serious tone. The title suggests that there will be a degree of sweetness, although the noun “devour” creates a confusing effect, making the reader think that not everything is as simple as it seems. In the beginning of the story, the author mentions that it was her wish to hear that the family was less fortunate, instead of that they were doing well.
Right away, this is a contradiction because how can a small child want for the family to have little money and status when everyone wishes quite the opposite. This suggests that there is some further sense to such wishing and the reader starts to wonder if it will be tragic or comic. The immediate connection to the book makes one think that maybe a girl wants to follow after some character from a book that she has read.
The fact that her mother would refuse to tell her, also says a lot about the true matter of things. Usually, a mother would explain the situation to their children. In case they were poor, she could say that they have other valuable qualities, doing fine or simply explain that “poor” is not an appropriate word and they are simply not as wealthy as some people are.
In case they were rich, the mother could have been more careful in explaining that having money or luxury does not mean that it should be talked about and used as a privilege. The fact that a child’s mother did not explain this, supposes that there was a certain type of relationship in the family where the mother was single, as there is no mention of the father or that they were going through a really rough time.
The way how the little girl talks about reading books, doing it constantly and with great appetite, means that there is not much she is involved in, except being at home and reading books.
This makes the reader wonder why she does not play with other children or have toys at home to keep busy with. Also, when the girl finishes all books and a later referral that she never knew about the existence of Series, proves that the amount of books their house had was not significant, if a nine year old child could read through them without satisfying her reading wants.
Another link is made to a story where the children were “unhappy” in any circumstance and the author accents on the fact that while she was reading the book, she did not realize the whole depth of sense that was being made. And again, the reference to a story of a girl who had shoes with holes. The author goes on to say that her mother finally took her to the library where the child found all sort of books and did not even care what kind they were, she just loved reading.
When the girl mentions how the librarian would not let children through, it raises concerns as to the understanding and kind nature that librarian might have not had. This gets confirmed when the author sarcastically states that the librarian was there by choice but at the same time did not exhibit the qualities she should have had. The final reference to the child’s thinness completes the obvious theme and there is no doubt about true matter of things.
The author of the story clearly intended it to mean something that was not as obvious in the beginning of the paper. Using the details that were given throughout, the reader realizes the main theme the writer had in mind.
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