Eudora Welty: Contribution as American Novelist

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      Born to a well to do family of transplanted northerners in Mississippi, Eudora Welty (1909-2001), was properly guided by Warren and Porter. Porter, in fact, wrote an introduction to Welty’s first collection of short stories, A Curtain of Green (1941). The Golden Apples (1949) The Bride of Innisfalien (1955). Welty modeled her nuanced work on Porter, but the younger woman was more interested in the comic and grotesque. Like the late Flannery O’Connor, she is eccentric, or exceptional characters for subjects.

      Despite violence in her work, Welty’s wit is essentially humane and affirmative, as for example, in her frequently anthologized story “Why I Work at the P.O.” in which a stubborn and independent daughter moves out. Her collections of stories include The Wide Net (1943), The Golden Apples (1949). The Bride of the Innisfalien (1955), and Moon Lake (1980). Welty has also written some good novels such as Delta Wedding (1946) which is focused on a plantation family in modem times, and The Optimist’s Daughter (1972). She also wrote some more novels - The Robber Bridegroom (1942), and Loosing Battles (1970). The Robber Bridegroom, set on the Mississippi plantation during 1920s, is truly magical but also slyly a mocking plantation novel.

      In her novels, there is an understanding of place as fact and feeling. There is strong a sense of dialectics of living and historical experience as a matter of record or myth. There is also a conviction that it is all done through language, especially, that the human animal realizes identity and community. At last, there is an animating belief that ambiguity is a fact of life. Delta Wedding (1946) describes the people waging an unequal struggle with circumstances who remain hopeful despite everything and also above all, use old tales talking as a stay against confusion. Welty was fond of using photography as a paradigm of human project to name and know experience to use stories, like her own, and ceremonies, like those of her characters. For her, novel writing is a pursuit of the real but the real will always elude us.

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