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Character and Plot in "Why I Live in the P.O."

By alkansaaa Mar 29, 2008 722 Words
Character and Plot in "Why I live in the P.O."

Plot refers to the arrangement of the story's actions. Any story starts with an introduction in other words an exposition. Let us take Cheever's short story "The Country Husband". This story started by describing a main situation, which had a big influence on the rest of the story. It described the airplane crash experience, which the main character went into. After that, the author described the main character's family, their relations and the way they treat their father. Moreover, this exposition gave us an important piece of information about the setting - the place where the story happened and it was New York City. After that, the conflicts and complication begin to reveal. There could be more than one conflict in fact a story could be loaded with conflicts as in "The country husband". For example, the first problem occurred which made the reader feel that there is going to be a problem is when Francis -the protagonist got infatuated with the babysitter and bought her a bracelet. Also, when Francis knew that Anne is engaged. And when he began to treat people rudely which made his wife angry. All these conflicts led us to the main conflict. In other words, it led us to the story climax. The story's tension peaks when Francis had a big fight with Julia and he struck her physically. For that, Julia decided to leave her husband but Francis succeeded in talking her of it. Later, Francis realizes that he is in trouble and he is lost. For that, he sought for help and chose to get it form a psychiatrist. This realization and seeking for solution is called the falling action, which immediately takes us to the resolution of the story. Francis went to the psychiatrist, he advised him to get his hands busy in woodwork, and his life became normal again.

Characterization refers to the techniques a writer uses to develop characters. In the story why I love in the P.O. for Eudora Welty, we see that the writer uses characterization to show the character of the protagonist, Sister. He expresses the content of her character through her actions toward other characters. We see that there are two major characters Sister and Stella-Rondo who are the protagonist and the antagonist. Through the story we see that these characters are never friendly to each other Sister always feels jealous of Stella-Rondo, and Stella-Rondo always causes problems to Sister. The other characters in the story are all minor Mama, Papa-Daddy and Uncle Rondo. These minor characters Sister had an excellent relation with them until Stella-Rondo came and changed everything. This change makes these minor characters round characters as well as the protagonist, and the characters who stay unchanged and flat are Stella-Rondo and her adopted child. Sister always wished to be the one who is favored, cared about and treated well. Unfortunately, she failed to be so. For that, she decided to leave her family and live at the P.O. for them being rude with her and preferring Stella-Rondo to her.

In all stories, the plot and characters have a strong relation. Plot has a strong effect on the characters, it sometimes controls their actions, their reactions and how they interact with others. This is clear in Cheever's story when the main character survived from an airplane crash, which made him decide to change his life. In addition, in "Why I Live at the P.O." we see that the Sister character changed when Stella-Rondo came back home. Sister became jealous, sensitive and quick-tempered. Perhaps if Stella-Rondo did not arrive, Sister would still have an excellent relation with her family and never decided to leave home. Moreover, characters have some influence on the plot. We can see that clearly, in "Why I live in the P.O." when Stella-Rondo arrived, she changed the family's behaviour and actions toward Sister from positive into negative. Also, when Francis in "The Country Husband" decided to see the psychiatrist, this decision led the plot to an ending. Maybe if Francis did not decide to seek for help the problems with his wife would continue and maybe they will get divorced.

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