No Place for You, My Love Summary
Eudora Welty uses a limited authorial voice in “No Place for You, My Love,” although on several occasions, she enters the consciousness of the two central characters. These characters reveal few facts about themselves, especially the woman, and the authorial voice reveals little more directly. However, although the facts of the characters’ lives and their feelings are not revealed, the details of their drive through the delta are clearly described.
A man and a woman, both northerners and strangers to each other, are accidentally brought together at a luncheon in New Orleans by southern acquaintances. Looking at the woman, the man thinks that she is having an affair. She wonders to herself if her being in love makes her open to others. Conscious of their being outsiders and so somehow linked, the man invites the woman to escape by taking a ride in his rented car.
The man and woman set off to explore the delta land south of New Orleans, leaving the city at the intersection called Arabi—to which they will return. Hardly talking, they ride into flatness, oppressive heat and swarming insects. It is an alien yet fascinating land. On all sides, there are mysterious paths and roads; some are paved with shells, and one is a plank road that the man guesses leads to some oil production plant. At last, mounting the Mississippi levee, they find a ferry to take them across the great river. The ferry is crowded with people—young, old, mostly poor, but filled with life. For most of the trip across the river, though, the man and woman are separate; she spends her time above, while he is down on the deck with the cars. After the ferryboat docks, they get back in the car and leave this world of people behind, following the river farther south into a greater emptiness.
At one point, the man turns into a narrow road through a cemetery, filled with white-washed, raised tombs that their car barely avoids. Here in this place of death, she asks what his wife is like, and he responds only with a gesture. The authorial voice notes that they did not continue on to the subject of her husband, “if she had one.” At last they come on the house of the local priest, a man...
(The entire section is 586 words.)