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 Welty?s 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 Sister?s 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 don?t 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...
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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