The Golden Apples

by Eudora Welty

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Golden Apples is a short-story collection that takes place in Morgana, Mississippi. It revolves around several middle-class families, such as the Moodys, the MacLains, and the Starks. The story uses mythology and symbolism to convey pervasive sorrow and glimmers of hope within experience and perseverance. The reader follows several characters called "wanderers" who attempt to find the golden apples. For instance, the first story is called "Shower of Gold" and follows Mrs. Rainey, a character prone to gossip.

What holds the stories together is a poem by William Butler Yeats called "The Song of Wandering Aengus," revealing that the golden apples represent beauty and true meaning. The characters attempt to find the apples to bring meaning to their lives and mark the town of Morgana as a magical place. By using this poem, the author conveys that the knowledge gained in pursuit of the apples is more meaningful than the apples themselves.

The story collection concludes with the short story "The Wanderers," where the characters come together and realize the underlying value of their lives through struggle and unity. Further, they realize that the apples will remain beautiful, so long as they stay on the tree.

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