Why I Live at the P.O. Discussion Questions

This Study Guide consists of approximately 73 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Why I Live at the P.O..
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Several early reviewers complain that Welty's stories all concern people who are "abnormal." Katherine Anne Porter goes so far as to describe Sister as "a terrifying case of dementia praecox," or schizophrenia. Welty has responded that the characters are regular people who are accustomed to speaking in an exaggerated way. Do you think that Sister is mentally ill? To what degree are the family conflicts Welty portrays abnormal?

Robert Penn Warren describes the central theme running through Welty's writing as the conflict between love and separateness. This is a conflict that clearly applies to Sister. In your opinion, what does Sister need more—her family's love or independence from them?

A sibling rivalry between Sister and Stella-Rondo shapes the conflict in the story. Read some psychological theories about the sources of sibling rivalry or use your own experiences with the phenomenon...

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This section contains 280 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Why I Live at the P.O. Study Guide
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