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: Kelar Dolkree
Country: Gabon
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Technology
Published (Last): 17 June 2008
Pages: 243
PDF File Size: 20.31 Mb
ePub File Size: 3.20 Mb
ISBN: 562-6-49834-606-5
Downloads: 96759
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mebei

The wife makes all the arraignments. Even in light of all the kind people who care for her in the town, she has suffered a loss that cannot be lightly comforted. As a reader I groaned as she stated how miserable she was all the while wondering if she only married Judge McKelvy, a man twice her age, for his money.

Ten years after the death of his wife, Becky, he marries a younger woman that he met at a Southern Bar Association conference named Wanda Fay.

From a narrative rife with dialogue, there is a deepening of the layers during the wely passages about the optimist’s daughter and much prose that delica Welty’s novel has spunk. The way she uses language, and the way she constructs her sentences are just beautiful. Yet, the past keeps rearing it’s disturbing head. In the lateness of the night, their two voices reading to each other where she could hear them, never letting a silence divide or interrupt them, combined into one unceasing voice and wrapped her around as qelty listened, as still as if she were asleep.

But through the homecoming, and the funeral, Welty shows us more depth to Fay than we would have believed possible.

With Fay, the stupid young wife eudorw her father, Laurel returns to her former Mississippi home and stays a few days after the funeral for reunions with old friends. But over the passage of time, as we all have, or all will, we will view memory with different eyes.

The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty () | LiteraryLadiesGuide

Thankfully there seems to be more classic doughnuts than classic holes. Hardcoverpages. After the judge’s death the women return to Mt. While I do tend to take my sweet time moseying toward a review after finishing a book, stewing both over and in my thoughts for often days at a time before taking the perfectionist’s route to laboring over my words or slapping some observations together to see what sticks and hoping that no one points out the crooked seams or varicolored threadstrying to sort and figure out what I want to say about The Optimist’s Daughter was an especially difficult task.


It wasn’t until Mark — who is often exactly what I need opttimist pry a sticky thought loose from the place where things elude elucidation thanks, Mark!

I’ve read some other reviews and realize that the book was confusing to some people even to the point that they gave up relativel “Memory lived not in initial possession but in the freed hands, pardoned and freed, and in the heart that can empty but fill again, in the patterns restored by dreams. Somewhere around page 70, several months later, something clicked.

But of course the last door on the optimjst of the corridor, the one standing partway open as usual, was still her father’s.

It is one daugnter those novels best appreciated in retrospect. It is more character driven than plot driven. And so, memory and death are dealt with and reconciled.

tge Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and lived a sig Eudora Alice Welty was an award-winning American author who wrote short stories and novels daughhter the American South.

During the few days she remains, Laurel digs through the past as she goes through her house remembering her deceased parents and the life she had before she left Mount Salus.

Unexpectedly the Judge takes a turn for the worse and Laurel feels the need to stay at the hospital hoping he will start to get better.

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

It’s not easy becoming an orphan at any age. The final run-in between the two unsettlingly close-in-age but light years apart in maturity, ye gods women does make for a clunky delivery of a message that Welty implied so well that she certainty didn’t need her main character to verbalize it. In a night alone in the house she grew up in, she confronts elements of the past and comes to a better understanding of it and of herself and her parents.


Laurel McKelvy Hand has returned to the south from Chicago when she hears that her father Judge Clinton McKelvy has suffered a scratched eye and is need of surgery.

Eudora Welty’s New Novel About Death and Class

I discovered this novel when I wanted something longer from Welty than a short story. The structure, however, changes as the book continues. I wonder if we look at them differently in your dauhter and age?

While Laurel is reacquainting herself with her parents as individuals whose context is purely welt and complete now, understanding their place in her life and their significance to each other, coming to the kind of epiphany that is the only preface to closure, Fay runs off with her equally insufferable family as if the death of a spouse is the kind of thing one gets over with a carelessly impoverishing shopping binge and a pedicure.

We have all known folks like the busy-body neighbors and friends here. Welyy books like these that make me question why I put myself through this and force myself to read classics. The conversations this story provoked at our book club were more compelling than the novel itself. My father’s twin sister, Shirley, who was my favorite aunt died at While she is still in a way grieving for both her mother and husband, her friends and neighbors come out in droves to assist her in mourning her father, a revered man in Mount Scalus.

While not the best of award winners, Welty’s novel is a look into a slice of Americana that was an interesting read that I rate 3.