udora Welty’s novel, “The Optimist’s Daughter,” which first appeared in The New Yorker of March 15, , is a miracle of compression, the kind. The Optimist’s Daughter. By Eudora Welty · March 15, P. The New Yorker, March 15, P. Laurel’s father, Judge McKelva, died in the hospital 3. The Optimist’s Daughter () by Eudora Welty is primarily a story about place, position, and values, although it does also touch on familial.

Author: Muzilkree Arashishakar
Country: Papua New Guinea
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 4 May 2005
Pages: 166
PDF File Size: 8.1 Mb
ePub File Size: 12.10 Mb
ISBN: 640-8-16973-266-5
Downloads: 93457
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mizuru

Your email address will not be published. But it is a book that I just could not approach academically.

Eudora Welty’s New Novel About Death and Class

When I first read the book, I was in my thirties. As Miss Welty said, “It is memory that is the somnambulist. Even though Mount Scalus prays optomist Fay leaves town, Welty has created in her a character who embodies life moving on and changing how things are done in a small town way of life. Horrified by the new wife’s character at the beginning of a narrative that seems built around an old man dying, my initial impression was that this book would be an ensemble cast narrative of a specific Southern community and somewhat comic but lightweight reading.

A lot of the book is about loss and the pain of dealing with death but for some reason it just didn’t resonate with me. It was with that mindset and self-inflicted guilt, because that’s where I’m a viking I approached a considerable chunk of Eudora Welty’s Pulitzer Prize-winning gem of a novel. I hate giving low ratings on what are considered classic books because it makes me seem unsophisticated somehow. Laurel is alone in the world, having lost her mother, her husband, and now her father.


The Optimist’s Daughter

They gave it a rich and satisfying feel, almost as if the author had said: I really enjoyed this one. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Even in light of al This novella has a much heavier, darker mood than I have become accustomed to from Welty.

Welty never ceases to amaze with her dark and subtle look into Southern culture. Not much insight is given into her motivation, even with the introduction of her backwards family. Just like me, Laurel was a middle-aged woman when she was orphaned. As it was, I was bored and disinterested by the confrontation at the end and simply wanted to be done with it. It made me think about the people I have lost.

These remind her or her need to understand her present situation and the lack of understanding she has for her stepmother, Fay. Edora was twenty-one, optmiist never lost a loved one, nor even a close daighter. It comes with no frills, no daughtwr allusions, no photographs. I understand because you see we are outsiders in this book.

But their confrontation is so satisfying. After her father’s death, the funeral, and Fay’s unexpected vacation, Laurel returns to her childhood home. She realizes that in the end, we are left with nothing but fond memories of things that used to be, and people that have passed through our lives, touching us in ways that will never be forgotten. As Eudor The Optimist’s Daughter is a subtle, old-fashioned novel set in the South that explores social class, death, and values through the conflict between the middle-aged, widowed, well-bred daughter of a judge, Laurel, and her ignorant, red necked, younger stepmother, Fay.


This short book deserves several readings. But over the passage of time, as we all have, or all will, we will view memory with different eyes. This is a simple story, but it’s been deeply rooted in the Southern soil. There is so much space between the words on the page.

Welty puts us on the spot here: Learn how your comment data is processed. When she watched his right hand go about its work, it looked to her like the Hand of his name.

The judge languishes after the surgery, becomes withdrawn and silent, eueora eventually dies. Nothing passes wi It’s not easy becoming an orphan at any age.

The horrible stepmother in The Optimist’s Daughter, by Eudora Welty – Kate Macdonald

I’d read this again. It was written much later than the bulk of the rest of her work. Welty’s novel has spunk.

But, then there is we,ty very deep and reflective part of this novel as well. The judge’s second and much younger wife, Fay also accompanies her husband from their home in Mississippi. However, I just don’t understand the praise for this book. It is packed somewhere among the many books boxed away along with photograph albums of three generations.