What are two possible themes for discussion in Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings?

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Michael Ugulini | (Level 3) Educator

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Two possible themes for discussion in Eudora Welty's “One Writer's Beginnings” include finding one’s voice as a writer and learning to observe. These two themes will prove indispensable to a creative writer striving to learn their craft.

Concerning voice, a writer learns from Eudora Welty’s discussion that human memory is a foundation of one’s writing voice. These memories are a storehouse of the experiences one has faced throughout their life. These memories involve feelings, actions, ideologies, confrontations, and successes, associations with other people, as well as places and things.

These all become part of one’s memories and writers draw on this well to write poetry, stories, drama scripts, personal essays and more. Their voice in these writing will be distinct and individual because no one else has experienced these things as the individual writer has experienced them. This will come out in their writing – their voice.

Regarding observation, or as Eudora Welty puts it “Learning to See,” the writer looks beyond the surface in viewing people, places, things, and situations. A writer looks for telling details that will illuminate and give more understanding. A writer can then integrate these details into their stories and poems. This comes from carefully watching each day and making a written or mental note of what is being observed.

Eudora Welty says that each summer trip she took made its specific disclosure. She said that “But with the passage of time, I could look back on them and see them bringing me news, discoveries, premonitions, promises – I still can; they still do.”

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