Functioning in Dysfunction

1325 Words6 Pages
Essay 1 Eudora Welty’s short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” is about a dysfunctional family in the 1940’s filled with sibling rivalry and jealousy. This story takes place in the small town of China Grove, Mississippi. The characters in this story are Mama, Papa-Daddy, Uncle Rondo, Stella-Rondo, and Sister. This story is written in first person narrative, with Sister as the narrator. It is evident while reading the story, that Sister is an unreliable narrator. She seems to be envious of her younger sister Stella-Rondo. Sister tells the story only from her point of view, never allowing the reader into the thoughts and minds of other characters. It becomes clear as the conflict unfolds that Sister is one sided and believes her perspective is the only correct one. Sister wants the reader to had empathy for her. The events of this story begin to unfold early within the text. The precipitating event occurs when Stella-Rondo returns home from Illinois after being separated from her husband and brings with her a two year old child. Sister, the postmistress for the town of China Grove, is the protagonist in this story. All the action revolves around her. She is the character with the conflict. Sister is trying to separate from her family. The P.O. (post office) is considered her safe haven, her own place. In the beginning the antagonist is Sister’s younger sister Stella-Rondo. Later in the story, according to Sister, after Stella-Rondo turns everyone against her, the entire family becomes the antagonist. Sister decides she can’t tolerate anymore and moves away from home, going to live in the post office. Functioning in Dysfunction In Eudora Welty’s short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” Sister, the character that plays the role of the narrator and protagonist, is searching for a way to leave home. She is looking for any reason to justify wanting to escape her
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