Character Analysis: Eudora Welty in “Why I Live at the P.O.” Introduction
Eudora Welt’s short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” is a tale of interfamily squabble and the inferiority complex of the eldest child. Narrated by the protagonist, the family is type casted in a bias fashion, refracted by her perception. The ensemble of characters in this short story portrays a white, highly dysfunctional extended family living in China Grove, Mississippi. The story’s events take place during the 4th of July sometime between the great depression and World War II, most likely around 1939 - 1940. To fully understand the method used to demonstrate the story’s point an understanding of who the characters is needed. Sister
The protagonist, Sister, tells us the story from her jaded point of view in the form of both narration and dialogue. She is the oldest daughter of two and lives with her Mother, uncle and grandfather and serves as the postmistress of the local post office. Her younger sibling Stella-Rondo has suddenly come home for the 4th of July holiday after being ways for several years. Stella-Rondo’s choice to reinsert herself into the family’s life is the spark that ignites the drama of the day ultimately leading to Sisters climactic decision. “I was getting along fine…until my sister Stella…came back home again” (Welty 123). Evident, unresolved issues with Stella-Rondo from years past fester within Sister, feeding her resentment. Naturally Stella-Rondo’s arrival is to be blamed for disrupting the status and comfort she has grown comfortable with. Every action forth with on Sisters part is motivated toward reclaiming her status within the family. As most do when focused on a goal born of misperception and selfishness, we try too hard. Sister has little time devoted towards considering the merit of her attitude towards Stella Rondo. “She has always had anything in the world she wanted and then she’d throw it away…” (Welty 123). Sister has her mind...
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