Eudora Welty American Literature Analysis
In The Eye of the Story, there is an essay called “Reality in Chekhov’s Stories,” which explains as much about Eudora Welty as it does about Anton Chekhov. Welty comments that one of Chekhov’s most important contributions to fiction was his redefining of reality. Before Chekhov, there was one viewpoint in fiction, directly or obliquely the author’s; after Chekhov, the writer felt free and even compelled to present various viewpoints as versions of reality. This approach necessitates a determined detachment on the part of the fiction writer. As Welty frequently explained, she does not consciously manipulate her characters; instead, she creates them and lets them speak for themselves. As a result, her short stories and novels often have the quality of a stage play.
In “A Visit of Charity,” for example, Welty begins with a brief mention of the time of day; she proceeds to describe the appearance of a young girl and to give the directions for her coming onstage—in this case, into the Old Ladies’ Home. Although the point of view of this story is that of fourteen-year-old Marian, who notices everything, even the smell of the room that she has chosen to enter, the minute the two old women begin to talk, there are two additional versions of reality. The old women do not agree about anything. One says that another girl has visited them, and the other says she did not; one says that her roommate is sick, and the roommate denies it; one...
(The entire section is 5589 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Eudora Welty Critical Essays. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!