Eudora Welty's Why I Live P. O. '

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One key element to any story is the point of view in which the author uses to voice their work. As characters, setting, and plot are introduced, readers are often unknowingly influenced by the narrator 's viewpoint written by the author. This power of point of view allows the author to control exactly how much information is given to the audience by limiting or providing boundless knowledge to the speaker. This element can be expanded upon by an author providing multiple narrators with different viewpoints which could result in a work with various dialects, perspectives, and biases. While many authors use an all-knowing narrator, a story written may take on another meaningful connotation if told by a character with limited knowledge like that …show more content…
Through Sister 's point of view the reader is directly spoken to and consequently influenced by Sister 's personal views. Eudora Welty did this in order for the readers to sympathize with Sister as her family turns against her and she tells the story of events leading up to her living in the town of China Grove 's Post Office. The story opens with Sister as she unquestionably sets herself up to be an unreliable narrator based on her own bias and feeling of bias that she believes her family holds against her. "I was getting along fine with Mama, Papa-Daddy, and Uncle Rondo until my sister Stella-Rondo just separated from her husband and came back home again." (41) Sister blatantly blames her sister, Stella Rondo, for her own unhappiness along with her family discourse and the loss of the man she once loved. Her hateful nature towards Stella-Rondo is not only aimed at her but also Stella-Rondo 's adopted daughter. Even while other family members including Mama agree the girl looks like Shirley Temple, Sister insists "She looks like a cross between Mr. Whitaker and Papa-Daddy." (41) Sister also implies that Shirley T. may be mentally handicapped after asking Mama, not Stella-Rondo "can that child talk... I wonder if that child could be – you know – in any way?" …show more content…
"Sister, I don 't need to tell you you got a lot of nerve and always did have and I 'll thank you to make no future reference to my adopted child whatsoever." (41) Rather than being seen as a man stealing, manipulative liar who is out to make Sister look bad, the story in turn may have taken on a sadder tone as the reader may have felt more compassion for Stella-Rondo after having left her husband to become a single parent, once again living at home with her parents. Having the point of view as Stella-Rondo 's would have essentially swapped the role of blame onto Sister for her behavior, this is evident when Sister refused to apologize to Shirley T. and Stella-Rondo for accusing Shirley T. of being mentally disabled, stating "Apologize for what? I merely wondered if the child was normal, that 's all. Now that she 's proved she is, why, I have nothing to say."
When an author makes the conscious decision as to what type of narration will be used in order to display their work, they add an essential element to the art of story making. "Why I Live at the P.O." is a perfect example of how an author 's choice of narrator, if changed to another character within the same story, could alter the perception of the story itself as well as other characters

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