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Analysis of Why i Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty - Essay Example

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This essay analyzes “Why I live at the P.O.” by Eudora Welty. The present research has identified that as much as the story is humorous, there are several underlying theme within it. The most evident theme is the irreversibility of isolation…
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Analysis of Why i Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty

Download file to see previous pages... This research will begin with the statement that Why I live at the P.O. is a book written by Eudora Welty, who was born in Jackson Mississippi. She was a multitalented artist, who succeeded as a writer and a photographer. She was inspired to write this story by a lady ironing in a small rural post office, whom she saw while working as a public photographer. Although Welty writes in varied moods and styles, Why I Live at the P.O. is a representation of her masterful use of vital characteristic of southern speech. It is, therefore, one of her beloved stories.  The story takes a form of a dramatic monologue. It is taught from the first person narrator, sister. Sister tells her side of story, explaining to the readers why she moved away from a home she had grown into adulthood, to a local post office. Her story is an appeal to the reader to take her side of the story as she resentfully recounts her Sister’s unfair maneuvers in turning every member of the family against her. However, her exaggeration and self pity turn her situation unintentionally humorous. The events of Why I Live in P.O. sets in motion when the narrator’s Sister, Stella Rondo returns to the family in China Grove. Sister states that before the arrival of her sister, she was getting along well with her mother, Papa-Daddy, and Uncle Rondo. The arrival of her sister, therefore, interrupts her uneventful life. Stella Rondo had just left her husband, Mr. Whitaker, a man Sister had briefly dated before becoming engaged to Stella. Stella Rondo arrives home with a girl, Shirley T, she claims to have adopted. Everybody in the family believes that the girl is actually adopted except for sister, who believes that Shirley is Stella’s biological daughter. Sister asks Stella bout Shirley’s parentage, and Stella gets furious with her. She decides to turn Papa-Daddy against Sister and tells him that Sister suggested that he should cut short his beard. Papa-Daddy believes this and gets angry with Sister, reminding her that it was through him that she got the job at the Post Office.
Later, Sister prepares green-tomato pickles, an act that is disapproved by Mama since Uncle Rondo and Shirley T would not agree with the food. In an argument between Mama and Sister, Mama does not agree with Sister’s believe that Shirley-T is not adopted. Sister goes further to suggest that Shirley could have a developmental problem since she had never uttered a word. Stella is angered by the accusation, and has Shirley sing a song. Mama insists that Sister should apologize, but she refuses. In her attempt to have Uncle Rondo turn against sister, Stella claims that Sister sneers at his ludicrous appearance. Uncle is angered and throws lit firecrackers in Sister’s bedroom. It is at this point that Sister decides to move. She makes her reasons known and collects her belongings from the house.
The story is taught from the first person point of view, therefore, a subject to the distorting interpretations. She skillfully directly addresses her audience in an attempt to call for attention to specific egregious offenses. At the end of the story, she believes that a change in venue shall be a solution to her problems, but it is arguable that her departure is a sign of cowardice (McHaney 39). Welty skillfully uses diction throughout the story. This is evident in the manner in which she records distinctive speech models of the characters. This is meant to humanize the characters and firmly place them in a local setting. In addition to this, she fills the stripes of dialogue with idiomatic expressions extracted from speech among the southerners. For instance, instead of must have, she writes must of, a transcription, grammatically unacceptable, but standard to the characters exceptional self expression ((McHaney 76)). Welty also uses appearance of words as an attempt of adding unique rhythms and tones to the speaker. For instance, when Papa-Daddy is angered, she writes l-a-y-s (McHaney 76). This spacing is intended ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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