So So Lonely
Who is R.J. Bowman? He is a man in Eudroa Welthy’s story Death of a Traveling Salesman. Through Welthy’s imagery, she dramatize Bowman’s sense of his own loneliness, and the emptiness of his own human relationship. Welthy successfully achieve that by using visual, auditory and tactile imagery.
Welthy starts the essay by giving a visual image to show Bowman’s loneliness. She says, “R.J. Bowman, who for fourteen years had traveled for a shoe company through Mississippi, drove his Ford along a rutted dirt path.” Telling the reader that Bowman is a traveling shoes salesman and drives a ford in the middle of nowhere gives readers a visual image of a sad man that is living life without meaning. Another example of effective visual imagery used by Welty, Welthy says, “He had given the nurse a really expensive bracelet, just because she was packing up her bag and leaving.” A pretty nurse took care of Bowman when he was in the hospital from influenza and without much emotional or physical attachment, Bowen gave her a really expensive bracelet before he left the hospital. Welty’s use of visual imagery of a shocking nurse that received a bracelet for being nice, and a desperate and not exactly a ladies’ man Bowman to portrait his loneliness. The most effective visual imagery Welthy gives is when Bowman went to a brothel, “He could only remember little rooms within little rooms, like a nest of Chinese paper boxes, and if he thought of one woman he saw the worn loneliness that the furniture of that room seem built of.” It shows that even in a brothel, while about to have sex with a woman, all he can see and think about is the sofa in the room which is lonely and useless just like he is.
Auditory was another type of imagery Welthy often uses. At the end of the story, when Bowman was being dragged down the hill by forces. Welthy says, “Just as he reached the road , where his car seemed to sit in the...