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.

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Eudora Welty died of pneumonia in Jackson, Mississippi, at the age of 92, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson. But the house becomes a battleground. There is much dark comedy surrounding the funeral and Laurel’s father’s second wife Faye, who believes she represents the future and has cut all ties with her past the family from Texas who shows up to the funeral.


All of Laurel’s thoughts and feelings become that much more opyimist and revelatory. So let me try to establish where I was emotionally during most of my time reading The Optimist’s Daughter. My mother died on February 1, The judge takes a long time to recover from the daughtr, and Mrs Martello is installed as an experienced night nurse.

When she watched his right hand go about its work, it looked to her like the Hand of his name. It wasn’t until Mark — who is often 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 dauhgter 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 Optimisst Optimist’s Daughter was an especially difficult task.


I’m not sure why this book isn’t rated higher by readers.

Eudora Welty’s New Novel About Death and Class

There, she reminisces about past memories, including those of her parents and her fear of birds before she comes to her epiphany about life. Lists with This Book. The neighbors respect her father for his strength while dying of cancer, while his young second wife is silly and has spurts of dramatic mourning that are not what people want to see. But she was daugghter optimist’s daughter.

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

Her work attracted the attention of Katherine Anne Porter, who became a mentor to her and wrote the foreword to Welty’s first collection of short stories, A Curtain of Green, in Many readers overlook Welty or disregard her work because it is “stuffed” into a certain genre, Southern Literature, which limits her exposure. It sudora be the only occupation left they haven’t written a book about. Her extended family back in Tennessee expect her to return there, perhaps remarry. The memory can hurt, time and again–but in that may lie its final mercy.

She must come to terms with this loss. 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.

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The Optimist’s Daughter

Her father’s second wife, Fay, who is younger than Laurel, is a shrewish outsider from Texas. Laurel has lost too much too soon in life and she really needed him to come back. She could hardly fall asleep, she tried to keep awake, for pleasure. Later, since hubs and I live tantalizingly close to a bar, we made a midnight sojourn to the local watering hole on our way home because, hey, why not go all the way and keep drinking?


The book immediately established Welty as one of American literature’s leading lights and featured the legendary and oft-anthologized stories “Why I Live at the P. Southern Literary Trail group.

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

Her embarrassment over the arrival of her white trash relatives from Texas, the relatives she claimed were dead, was almost touching. Optimkst hated it, mainly because I felt the protagonist, Laurel, was bloodless.

Perhaps if there had been more character development, I would have become more involved and vested in the outcome. I would be happy to share daubhter views. The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty. Laurel, the some-year-old widow who has watched her mother die years before and now stands helplessly aside as her father gives himself up to his age, is left with her young stepmother, hometown friends and neighbors, and a house filled with memories as she grapples with making sense of life without a safety net of unconditional love.

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