Literary Analysis

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“Why I Live at the P.O.”
The image of home life in Why I live at the P.O, Eudora Welty depicts the damage to one’s feelings of self worth in response to the sense of belonging in a family. Sister, who is the narrator in Why I live at the P.O.,(Welty) is disturbed when her sister, Stella Rondo returns homes with an adopted child, Shirley-T, after separating from her husband (Welty). Sister has lived in her sister’s, Stella Rondo’s shadow her entire life. Over the years, resentment and jealously has manifested in Sister towards her sister Stella Rondo. The rest of the family is delighted to see Stella Rondo and the child. Sister makes the assumption that Shirley-T is the biological child of Stella and her husband (Welty). The story is told from Sisters twisted point of view seeking sympathy from her readers. As the story begins, she immediately builds her case against her family revealing past hurt, judgment, and jealousy which cause the family to have a communication break down throughout the entire story. In Why I live at the P.O., Eudora Welty uses diction, repetition, and solitude to depict the stability of a social system in a broken family.

Welty uses a distinctive speech pattern to emphasize each character’s personalities and their Southern home setting. Welty uses distinctive style and font of the words to emphasize the tone of the character’s speech. In the text, Welty uses “l-a-y-s”, when Pappa Daddy lays his silverware down after he gets so angry about the comments made regarding his beard (Welthy). The spaces in between the letters stress Pappa Daddy’s dramatic movement. Welty also depicts Sisters manipulative characteristic by her tone. Sister’s manipulative tone eventually makes her an unreliable source.

Repetition is seen in Why I live at the P.O., (Wetly). There is some family history that is repeated in the story. Stella Ronda makes a comment to Sister telling her not to ever again mention that Shirley-T was adopted. Wetly...
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