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Why I Live At The P.o.

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China Grove In Eudora Welty’s story, Why do I Live At The P.O.”, the main character directs the focus of the reader through her own point of view. The story is set in a small Mississippi town, sometime after World War II. The time and the place have a significant effect upon the language used. This helps to create an overall mood that is dominated by Southern prejudices, interpersonal ignorance and simplicity; for example, Sister says Nigger girl (1031) words that now demonstrate racism but at that time it was acceptable.

The first-person point of view is crucial to the theme of Weltys story. Sister is self-centered and melodramatic. Sister’s descriptions are exaggerated, and because of this we tend to view her accounts of events with skepticism. She begins her tale with” I” and every event is made to resolve around herself, even her sister’s marriage, I was getting along fine Berry 2 with Mama, Papa -Daddy and Uncle Rondo until my sister Stella-Rondo just separated from her husband and came back home again. Mr. Whitaker! Of course I went with Mr.

Whitaker first, when he first appeared in China Grove, taking Pose Yourself photos, and Stella-Rondo broke us up (1027). This comment also gives us an idea about tension between Sister and Stella-Rondo that had always been present in the past. We can support this argument with Sisters words, Stella Rondo is exactly twelve months to the day younger than I am and for that reason she is spoiled (1027).

Welty show us through her choice of words that Sister seems to be right when she tells us that her entire family has ” turned against” her. Much of the story is presented in a dialogue that shows her family picking on her, So the postmistress fails to understand why dont I cut off my beard (1028). This does not suggest that the narrator perception is always on the mark. She is probably kidding herself when she says at the beginning of the story that everything was going well until Stella- Rondo arrived. Because bickering is a way of life of her family, But you must remember, Sister, that you were never married to Mr. Whitaker in the first place and you didnt go up to Illinois to live(1030).

Welty s story narrator tired of her younger sister leaves the house and moves to the post office. Sister takes everything that belongs to her an electric fan, needlepoint pillow, radio, sewing machine, calendar, thermometer, canned goods vases, and even a fern growing outside that she feels is rightfully hers because she watered it.

Berry3 Welty shows us that Sisters self-deception is strongest in the end of the story. I want the world to know Im happy (1036). Her world is her family and the population of China Grove in which her family lives. Sister family is the main population of the town. She cannot be happy away from her family. If she wants anyone to hear her monologue, she will have to return home.

Eudora Welty has been careful to show us that the narrator is not the only self-centered, melodramatic member of this family, so is Stella-Rondo. Stella- Rondo has gained everyones attention by returning home after two years with her adopted daughter. This attention however is not enough, Stella -Rondo created trouble with t he story of Shirley-T being adopted. Stella-Rondo also created problems for misrepresenting Sisters words about Papa-Daddys beard and reacted with an exaggerated sense of injury when she saw Uncle Rondo in her kimono, on top of all that she lied to Uncle Rondo to get Sister in trouble.

Welty makes clear that Sister feels that Stella-Rondo should say the truth about her adopted daughter, And if Stella Rondo should come to me this minute, on her bended knees and attempt to explain the incidents of her life with Mr. Whitaker, Id simply put my fingers in both my ears and refuse to listen (1036).

Berry 4 In Weltys short story, which is also, a monologue has a southern humor. Weltys descriptive words are helpful in letting us imagine how the scenes, sounds and southern accent throughout the story There I was over the hot stove trying to stretch two chickens over five people and a completely unexpected child into the bargain, without one moments notice(1019). Given the family history, we can be sure that things will soon be back to normal, as they used to be. Sister will move back home and Stella- Rondo will go back to Mr. Whitaker with her adopted child.

Work Cited

Welty, Eudora. Why I Live At The P.O. The Harbrace Anntology of Literature. Ed.

Bowers, Jones and Sttot Second Edition, Canada: Harcourt Canada, 1998. 1027-36.

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