Eudora Welty Short Stories
Eudora Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings: Personal Experiences and Influence of Literature on Author’s Life
In Eudora Wetly’s One Writer’s Beginnings, Wetly writes about her life experiences and the way that books and literature have changed her. She writes of her story from her perspective and through personal experiences and her relationships with certain characters that she has communicated with. Wetly writes of her experiences with literary and rhetorical devices to try to prove her point and thoughts.
In the first paragraph of the excerpt, Wetly talks about the librarian in her local library. She uses parallel structure in describing her physical form. She uses diction that help the reader to visualize the way that Mrs. Calloway, the librarian, looked. “…she sat with her back to the books, and facing the stairs, her dragon eye on the front door,” uses metaphors to describe the way that others looked at her. Wetly describes Mrs. Calloway in a way that one would describe a monster and also explained why others were so scared of her. She ends the paragraph by describing the environment in the library and how pitch silent it was because of the way that Mrs. Calloway enforced it.
The second paragraph begins with the descriptions of what Mrs. Calloway would do if one approached her. Wetly emphasized on the strict conservatism of Mrs. Calloway and the way that she implied rules. She starts off in paragraph 3 and line 21 describing that one person who was not scared of Mrs. Calloway was her mother. The excerpt takes a turn in tone with the dialogue that becomes present that is quoted by the author’s mother. Wetly’s mother told the librarian that Eudora had the permission to read from almost every book except for books by a certain author or else she would be harmed. She used the metaphor by describing that Wetly would fall off a piano stool. She speaks of new words that she has learned when she was a kid with a tone of amazement and a bit of sass in the tone that she used to contradict with what her mother told her in line 35 when she says “I never hear it yet without the image that comes with it of falling straight off the piano stool.”
Wetly starts off the third paragraph by mentioning the rules that Mrs. Calloway made and speaks of her in a disapproving tone. She then uses parallelism to describe that only two books could be checked out at once with the book check out rule. She specifically gives titles to the books that she read and also uses italics to emphasize on how much reading meant to her and why she liked to read so much. She uses diction and imagery as well as personification to explain her experiences with reading. She ends the excerpt by giving an anecdote that involved her mother in the kitchen.
The end of the excerpt ends with a mentioning of an anecdote that happened later on in her life and quoting from a book that her mother was reading and how it correlated to her life at the time in real life. This shows a parallelism from her past and her present as well as a correlation between the past and the present.
Visit of Charity by Eudora Welty. Marian Character Analysis
In Eudora Welty’s “A Visit of Charity,” the main character, fourteen year old Marian, visits two old ladies at the Old Ladies’ Home, because she is a Campfire girl trying to earn charity points. Even though this act should be one that is generous, and caring, Marian is very selfish and cruel to the old women. In the story, Marian is an immature girl who acts as if she is dumb in a way. She is not performing a thoughtful act as she should be; she is only thinking of herself.
At the start of the narrative, the first thing Marian says is “I’m a campfire girl…I have to pay a visit to SOME old lady” (Welty 1). She quickly introduces herself in the story as being egotistical. It is understandable that she does not want to spend time with old women, especially as a young girl, but her attitude is rude and disrespectful. She makes it very obvious that she does not want to be there by making the statement of how she has to visit “some” old lady. Marian comes off as not wanting to be at the elderly home, and she hints about how she cannot wait to leave.
Marian acts very strange throughout the story. She is asked several simple questions, but she cannot answer them. She gets flustered extremely easily. Marian was finally taken down the hall by the nurse. the nurse pointed at the rooms and said, “There are two in each room” (Welty 1). Marian replies back by asking “Two what?” (Welty 1). It is very small example, but it is very obvious that the nurse is talking about the old women. What else would she be talking about? Marian seems to be slightly naive. This side of her is different from how she first appears. At the beginning, she is arrogant and conceited, but once she meets the old women her immaturity is shown.
Once Marian meets the old women, her immaturity begins to be seen more clearly. The women ask Marian what her name is, but she cannot remember it. Marian responds, “I’m a campfire girl” (Welty 2). This simple question was too difficult for her to answer. She seems to be too nervous to think clearly. Marian is very scared of the old women, which is clear, but she in fourteen years old and should not be afraid of two small, elderly women. One of the old women goes on to ask what Marian does at school. She replies, “I do not know…” (Welty 3). Again, Marian is acting childish and forgetful by answering questions so stupidly.
Marians selfishness is shown again when one of the women notice the flowers that Marian brought for them. She was about to tell the women why she brought them, but decided to keep it to herself. “…if Campfire Girls delivered flowers to the Old ladies’ Home the visit would count one extra point, and if they took a bible with them on the bus and read it to the old ladies, it counted double” (Welty 3). Marian did not bring a plant on her visit out of the kindness of her heart, but only so she could receive more points towards her score. Marian is not acting her age or being appropriate.
The old women in the story are seen by Marian as old witches by comparing their hands to claws, ” Marian jumped up and moved toward the door. For the second time, the claw almost touched her hair, but it was not quick enough” (Welty 5). The girl has such fear of these women, when all they are doing is bickering and talking to her. Most of this fear is in her head. She responds negatively to all the things the women due to her. I am sure the women are trying to be funny and see how she responds to their humor, but Marian is over reacting. The lady asked Marian to come towards her so she could tell her something, but the girl was extremely frightened. “Marian was trembling, and her heart nearly stopped beating altogether for a moment” (Welty 4). She is scared to death of these women which is very strange for what age she is. Marian is obviously not accustomed to spending time with the elderly. This says something about her life outside of what she is experiencing in the Old Ladies’ Home. She, like other children, would never think about coming to this area, because it is not relevant to them, especially at their age. This shows Marian, again, in a negative light. She obviously does bit care about these women, and only is there for personal gain.
Towards the end of the story, Marian finally “escapes” this “torturous” home. She leaves the elderly women without even saying goodbye, and she runs down the corridor to the exit. Marian is very melodramatic. She was not with the women for very long, but she makes it seem as she was trapped there forever. When she finally made it out of the Old Ladies’ Home, she is backed to her snooty self. Marian calls after the bus to stop for her, she gets onto it and eats an apple, like this whole visit had never happened.
“A Visit of Charity” was not about a visit of charity. Marians visit was far from charitable. Her only reason for visiting the Old Ladies’ Home was so she could gain more points for her total score. The overall story portrays Marian as a naive and selfish girl, who is overly dramatic when it came to the old women. She was so frightened of them that she compared them to old witches. This story shows two sides of Marian; defiant and sassy, and naive and childish.
Summary And Analysis Of Eudora Welty’s Story “A Worn Path”
The story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty tells the account of Phoenix Jackson, to a great degree matured African American lady who lived in the Mississippi. Phoenix Jackson was described as a raggedy old woman. The scene began with Ms. Jackson taking her long journey into town and she was wearing her typical wardrobe, an apron made of sugar sacks, a red bandanna, the stick of an umbrella as her cane, and her shoe strings untied. With the description given from the first couple paragraphs readers perception of this African American lady is old, poor, or lost. The author does not disclose where the Phoenix is going exactly because she all she says is “I got a long way”. Phoenix lives in a calm provincial territory with her unrivaled grandson, whom she nurtures. Two years prior her grandson gulped lye and his throat presently can’t seem to mend. This torment sends dear old Phoenix out to the nation into town to see the specialist to ask about getting some all the more mitigating pharmaceutical to encourage the recuperating procedure.
Amid this specific adventure, she experiences many hindrances, genuine hardships, allurements, falsehoods, hostility and prejudice. Through every one of these difficulties, Phoenix still needed to proceed down this well used way perceiving the duty to tend to her grandson and defeat any hindrances to ensure her heritage lives on through him. Amid these years, Phoenix confronted the reality of living in neediness. As per Welty, she was in all probability conceived in neediness and lived in this hardship every last bit of her life, The red clothes she wore, old blanched cover, and the long dark striped dress that contacted her toes demonstrated an essentialness. Of all the cunning stories composed by Eudora Welty over the past 50 years, it is maybe a worn path that is most charming as far as its capacity to oppose basic clarification. the entire story is suggestive of a religious journey while the conclusion infers that the arrival trek will resemble the voyage of the magi with Phoenix following a star to convey a blessing to the youngster. Indeed the story is in some sense to utilize Isaac’s assertion suggestive of a religious mission. The story starts prominently on a cool December morning and similarly as fast we are made mindful that there is an old dark lady going along a way through the pinewoods.
We watch her as she arranges a progression of obstructions in that wild on her approach to Natchez Mississippi probably to get some drug for her grandson who as per the medical attendants count close to the stories end had gulped a specific measure of lye a few years sooner. explaining further on the scriptural examination of Isaacs. In landing at his decision he legitimately draws on the Egyptian legend of the Phoenix. One would be neglectful not to do as such in light of the heroes first name however though Bartel is by one means or another ready to see the Phoenix as characteristic of Phoenix Jackson’s extreme destruction it is more suitable to recall the phoenix legend has its source in a zone of the world known as the support of development and furthermore most proper to consider that Welty may expect for us to join the legend with her story to uncover a procedure that goes ahead into vastness. The encyclopedia Britannica depicts the Phoenix as a marvelous winged animal or bird associated with the love of the sun particularly in old Egypt and in established vestige. It was known to Hesiod and depictions of its appearance and conduct happen in antiquated writing sporadically with varieties in detail from Herodotus record of Egypt ahead. The phoenix is said to be as expansive as a hawk with splendid red and gold plumage and a musical cry. Just a single phoenix exists whenever. It is enduring; no old specialist gives it a life expectancy of under 500 years; some say it lives for a long time an Egyptian Sothic period an extraordinary gauge is 97. As its end approaches the phoenix molds a home of fragrant limbs and flavors set it ablaze and is devoured in the flares. From this fire supernaturally springs another phoenix.
In conclusion the phoenix is a legendary winged creature that reuses its own particular life. when it sees its approaching demise the phoenix touches off itself into a wonderful fire. in time it reemerges from its own particular fiery debris reawakened restored and especially alive interesting animals phoenixes. They can convey colossally overwhelming burdens their tears have mending forces and they make very unwavering pets. Phoenix tears have huge recuperating powers. It is the main known solution for basilisk venom, this older woman was a reincarnation of a phoenix. Nothing could stop the phoenix from getting the medicine for her grandson and just to show how brave and fearless she just is the Phoenix stops at a store near the doctor’s office to pick up a windmill toy for her grandson just before she head on her way back to her grandson.
A Comparison of Materialism, Communication, and Connection in Death of a Traveling Salesman and Neighbor Rosicky
Joint critiques of modern materialism and the resulting void in the life of the everyday man, Willa Cather’s Neighbor Rosicky and Eudora Welty’s Death of a Traveling Salesman illuminate the modernist dilemma of isolation through the characters of Rosicky and and R.J. Bowman, exploring themes such as communication, familial bond, simplicity in life. While both stories ultimately agree that materialism is a direct source of disconnect, leading to isolation and alienation, only Death of a Traveling Salesman negotiates the consequences of materialism and the absence of social, particularly familial, bond as a result of inaction and the inability to communicate. Neighbor Rosicky, in contrast, explores the antithesis: a life lived without regard to material goods, in which happiness is achieved through family life despite poverty. It embodies themes of action and communication as tools to happiness. Harsh and unforgiving descriptions of city life effectively position the city as a metaphor for materialism, or the chief source of emptiness in modern life. Cather and Welty’s stories have a nearly parabal-like quality to them, reading almost as guides on how to live a happy, fulfilled life.
The opening line of Death of a Traveling Salesman reveals Bowman to be essentially homeless: “R.J. Bowman, who for fourteen years had traveled for a shoe company though Mississippi, drove his Ford along a rutten dirt path,” (Welty, 1480.) For fourteen years, he lived out of hotels that were “stuffy in summer and drafty in winter,” (Welty, 1480) accompanied only by an array of nameless, meaningless women that now only remind him of “the worn loneliness that the furniture of that room,” (Welty, 1480.) The image of a worn, lonely room is a succinct metaphor for the quality of Bowman’s life and the isolation he feels in it, and this image is later revisited by Bowman as he observes the woman “waiting silently by the cold hearth, of the man’s stubborn journey… how they finally brought out their food and drink and filled the room proudly with all they had to show,” (Welty, 1487.) The jealousy that Bowman feels is overt. The room embodies the life these people have created, connection they have forged together “that he could not see,” initially (Welty, 1485.) That the women can say with quiet pride “He makes it,” (Welty, 1487) referring to drink is reminiscent of the quiet pride of Rosicky and his family.
That Bowman feels “hopefully secure,” (Welty, 1482) when he enters the couple’s house speaks to the natural human desire for connection. However, we see that Bowman is unable to communicate meaningfully despite this years as a salesman, a career notorious for small-talk. He is only able to muster, “I have a line of women’s low-priced shoes,” (Welty, 1483) and later “Do you two live here alone?” (Welty, 1483) which he himself admits that he doesn’t care to know. He is unable to explain his situation to Sonny. This sense of alienation from the very people who are helping him is amplified when Bowman realizes that his heart “should be full…should be holding love like other hearts,” (Welty, 1484.) The shame that he feels for having nearly communicated this to the woman brings the theme of disconnection back to the forefront; he knows what he wants to do, what he should have done all along, but this inability to communicate is revealed to be lifelong, a flaw that always “just escaped him,” (Welty, 1484.)
Much of Rosicky’s success, in contrast, stems from not only his ability to communicate effectively, but the manner in which he uses communication to help the people he loves. When his sons protest that they don’t want to give up the car to Rudolph and Polly, Rosicky clearly articulates his rational, “I don’t want no trouble to start in Rudolph’s family… An American girl don’t git used to our ways all at once,” (Cather, 971.) Rosicky demonstrates logic and empathy for Polly in his justification to the boys, and his kindness his later rewarded when Polly is able to save him after he falls ill. The bond between the two is strengthened, and in a triumphant moment, city-girl-cum-country-wife Polly says, “Lean on me, Father!” (Welty, 980) after Rosicky had specifically noted that she never referred to him as such.
He later recounts the story of his troubles in London, which he recalls as “the only part of his youth he didn’t like to remember,” (Cather, 969) in order to warn his sons of the inherent hardships of city living. Nothing in life matters more to Rosicky than that his sons understand the value of simple living, for “to be a landless man was to be… a slave… to have nothing, to be nothing,” (Cather, 973.) Rosicky rejects the city life and the utter emptiness of “stone and asphalt with nothing going on,” (Cather, 970.) This societal critique is reinforced by his declaration to the boys that that “don’t know what hard times is,” (Cather 974.) It is implied that the boys associate hard times with financial distress, but Rosicky denies that hard times can be had when one has a strong family. His happiness and purity of character is rooted in the connections that he holds, particularly with his wife, Mary, because he knows “they could bear what they had to bear… they would always pull through somehow,” (Cather, 978.)
The opening line of Neighbor Rosicky is similarly revealing of protagonistic character like that of Death of a Traveling Salesman. When told of his illness, “Rosicky protested,” (Cather, 962,) the narrator notes, immediately establishing Rosicky’s will to live. While he does not go out of his way to endanger himself, Rosicky refuses to be victimized by his illness, choosing rather to continue to live his life at an easy place, or to “Chust to take it easy like,” (Cather, 968.) Contrasted with Rosicky, Bowman resents his illness, feeling “angry and helpless” at being feverish, a metaphor for a materialistic society’s fixation on productivity and the helplessness an individual feels when they are unable to effectively produce. Bowman, who has dedicated the last fourteen years of his life to work over family, “distrust[s] illness,” (Welty, 1480) because it is a direct threat to his productivity. He even deludedly attempts to remove its power by giving “the nurse a really expensive bracelet,” (Welty, 1480.) This fear of inproductivity extends to “guilty in…stillness and silence,” (Welty 1485,) tying Bowman’s sickness to capitalistic guilt and also the inability to communicate.
Although Rosicky is not pleased with his declining health, he views it as in inevitable part of life. During “the first snow of the season,” a metaphor for the natural progression into old age, Rosicky passes by his future graveyard, and remarks that it’s “a nice graveyard… sort of homelike… not mournful… it was so near home,” (Cather 967.) He does not wish to die, but Rosicky feels prepared for death, and the graveyard symbolizes a life well lived. Bowman, despite his illness, does not contemplate his own mortality until the car crash. In this instance, “all his anger drifted away” (Welty, 1481) and he is left passively asking himself “Where am I? Why didn’t I do something?” (Welty, 1481.) Although the questions are meant in reference to his own stubborn refusal to “admit he was simply lost and turn around,” both the questions and the refusal to ask for help are understood to serve as metaphors for his inaction throughout life, which he can only clearly see when taunted by death.
Throughout Death of a Traveling Salesman, Bowman’s mysterious illness also creates an extended metaphor of inaction; he repeatedly refers back to this illness as an unfair, frustrating excuse for why he is unable to help himself. Rosicky’s life is full of action: he leaves Czechoslovakia for England, then for New York, and then the Omaha, constantly searching for a way to better his life and “try his fortune in another part of the world,” (Cather, 971.) Although Rosicky was admittedly “city-bred” (Cather, 968) he realized the emptiness of this life style and the “temporary illusion of freedom” they provided (Cather, 970) and reverted back to a life of simplicity.
After realizing that his life of inaction and adherence to materialism has left him with no meaningful connections, Bowman flees the couples house in attempt to “get back to where he had been before,” (Welty, 1488.) He wishes to return to the ignorance of the material society, one which claims to reward hard work over connection. The lamp which the woman had been cleaning when he arrived is symbolic of her life and the effort to maintain it. The money that Bowman leaves below the lamp is his shallow attempt to connect one last time with the couple in the only way he knows how: financially. When his illness returns and his heart gives out, Bowman attempts to cover “his heart… to keep anyone from hearing the noise it made,” (Welty, 1488.) Even in his last moments, he rejects communication. However, as a result of his avoidance of communication, no one is around to witness his death, thus rendering the action pointless. He dies alone, and there is no one left behind. The image of Rosicky’s beautiful grave returns after his death, and Dr. Ed contrasts it with “city cemeteries…cities of the forgotten,” (Cather, 982.) It is clear that due to his inability to communicate and his life dedicated to materialism, Bowman will reside in this city of the forgotten in his death.