The Ballad of the Sad Café Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the setting for "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe?"

The story takes place in a small Southern town one August afternoon. It is very hot and dreary and there seems to be little movement or activity. The largest house in the center of town is practically a ruin. It is boarded up and leans to one side almost ready to collapse. However, it does have an occupant. Her name is Miss Amelia and she can sometimes be seen in the upstairs window.

2. What does the author reveal about Miss Amelia's character and personality?

Amelia had inherited the house from her father, and operates it as a general store. She also makes excellent liquor. She's a strong, mannish sort of woman, gruff and unsociable. She is very rich as she has a head for real estate deals. She is also very petty and will go to court and sue for the most minor of infractions.

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