Forgot your password?  

The Optimist's Daughter Summary
Eudora Welty

Everything you need to understand or teach The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty.

  • The Optimist's Daughter Summary & Study Guide
  • 30 The Optimist's Daughter Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

The Optimist's Daughter Summary


The first version of Eudora Welty's best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Optimist's Daughter, appeared as a short story in 1969 in the New Yorker. Revised and published as a novel in 1972, it is considered by some to be her sparest novel. In fact, Welty herself thought of the novel as more akin to a short story than a true novel. The book's complexity arises not from its length but from the emotions of the characters.

The Optimist's Daughter is the story of Laurel, a widow who returns to Mississippi when her father is ill and witnesses his death and funeral. From there, she embarks on a deeply personal journey to explore her past and her family in order to make sense of her future.

Welty's novel contains a number of autobiographical elements. Some of the male characters are inspired by Welty's uncles, and the women of the town represent Welty's...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Optimist's Daughter Study Pack contains about 77 pages of study material in 7 products, including:

The Optimist's Daughter Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

The Optimist's Daughter Lesson Plans contain 117 pages of teaching material, including:

Follow Us on Facebook