The Optimist's Daughter Essay

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In the following essay, Mortimer analyzes how Welty "enhances the implications of her images" in The Optimist's Daughter.

One of the striking characteristics of Eudora Welty's fiction—taken as a whole—is the remarkable diversity of styles she summons from story to story. Welty herself has said that when she begins a new story nothing she has written before is of much help to her, that each new story teaches her how to write itself. Yet when we turn to a novel such as The Optimist's Daughter (1972) directly after reading The Golden Apples (1949) or Losing Battles (1970), for example, the shift in stylistic intensity is nevertheless surprising. The complex allusions and linguistic sensuousness of The Golden Apples and the garrulous charm of Losing Battles leave us quite unprepared for the spareness and apparent simplicity of the later text.

Two additional factors have contributed to critical readings of The...

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This section contains 6,032 words
(approx. 16 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Optimist's Daughter Study Guide
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The Optimist's Daughter from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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