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The Ponder Heart Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Ponder Heart.
This section contains 432 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Ponder Heart Summary & Study Guide Description

The Ponder Heart Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty.

The book "The Ponder Heart" by Eudora Welty tells the story of kind-hearted Daniel Ponder who is accused of murder by the family of his deceased wife. The story is told by Daniel's niece, Edna Earle Ponder, who runs the Beulah Hotel in the small town of Clay. Themes of the story include differences in people, fickleness and the impact of money and trouble on friendship.

Edna Earle narrates her story as if she is talking directly to the reader, who plays the part of a visitor to the hotel. She first describes her Uncle Daniel and his habit of giving things away. In an attempt to cure Daniel this habit Grandpa Ponder gets Daniel married to widow Miss Teacake Magee. The marriage only lasts two months and Daniel is back to his old ways.

Grandpa Ponder next tries to discipline Daniel by having him admitted to a mental institution. After returning to the institution after a visit home, Daniel turns the tables on his father by leaving his father at the asylum when a nurse mistakes Grandpa Ponder as the patient. Before Grandpa can make it out of the asylum and back to Clay, Daniel has married Bonnie Dee Peacock. When he returns home and finds Daniel married, Grandpa Ponder has a heart attack, the result of the Ponder heart, and dies.

Daniel and Bonnie's marriage is filled with angst as Bonnie decides to leave him five years into their trial marriage. Edna Earle puts an article in the Commercial Appeal begging Bonnie Dee to come back and promising a weekly allowance for her. Bonnie returns but kicks Daniel out of the house. In an attempt to fix things, Edna Earle suggests Daniel stop giving Bonnie Dee her weekly allowance. Bonnie Dee calls for Daniel a few days later. As he and Edna Earle prepare to travel to the Ponder home, a thunderstorm is coming up.

Daniel sits on the sofa tickling Bonnie Dee with a pillow tassel, trying to distract her from the storm. During this time, she apparently dies laughing, a detail that never comes out in the trial but Edna Earle tells her visitor in detail. Instead, Daniel has gone to the bank and begins giving his money away to every one present at the trial. Though some try to get Edna Earle to stop him, she refuses to do so. Since Daniel has given away all of their money, the people treat them strangely. No one has spent any of the money and can't seem to decide what they should do with it.

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This section contains 432 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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