Katherine Anne Porter Questions and Answers

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In the story "He" by Katherine Anne Porter, Mrs. Whipple says, "nobody's going to get a chance to look down on us." She tries her best to cover up how difficult life is on the farm (especially when her brother and his family come for a visit). Give at least two specific examples of how other members of the family help her keep up appearances during the dinner they give for their guests. be sure to cite page and line references.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Mrs. Whipple, the protagonist of Katherine Anne Porter's "He," refuses to be looked down upon. Farm life is hard, and she finds it a struggle to take care of her family of five. That said, when her brother announces that his family is coming for a visit, Mrs. Whipple refuses to look like she is unable to take care of more mouths at her table.

One circumstance where another person helps to keep up the appearance that Mrs. Whipple can care fine for her family is when her brother tells her to "put the big pot in the little one." This illustrates that he understands the trouble his visit is placing on her family. His "joke" is understood, and Mrs. Whipple decides to slaughter a suckling pig (baby) to feed the group of nine. 

Later, Mrs. Whipple's brother upholds appearances again: “This looks like prosperity all right." While the table does not hold enough food to feed her family, her brother, and his "plump healthy wife and two great roaring’ hungry boys," her brother states that it does. 

I accessed the story online. I am not sure how the pages of your text would match up. I hope the quotes themselves are appropriate enough. I have linked the edition I used. 

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