Friday, January 2, 2009


I finally finished reading Welty's short story, Why I Live at the P.O. Trying to catch up on my readings for our meeting next week, I started with this story first. The story of how an entire family "turned against" Sister is vividly told from Sister's point of view, who remembers everything that happened on the Fourth of July and the days following it. Sister elaborately explains what happens with each family member. Welty makes clear how dysfunctional the family is including Uncle Rondo's drinking problem, Stella's failed marriage, Papa Daddy's huge ego, and Mama's naive beliefs.

Stella's and Sister's apparent rivalry escalates into Sister's living at her workplace, which just happens to be a post office. I did some research on this short story. I noticed that many of them commented on the humor. It was hard for me to see the humor. Maybe it's because I tend to be more serious or something. I just didn't get the humor. It was just more chaotic and dysfunctional for me. Did anyone else feel this way?

1 comment:

____Maggie said...

Some of the humor is lost on me, also. I assume it is because I am not a native Mississippian.

One thing I get out of the situation is the fact that when I am attending family functions my brother (and only him) addresses me as sister. I'm not given the respect of actually having a name and he does not use it in an adoring manner. My dad (oldest of six) called one of his siblings Sister so much she is now known as Cissy. (Yes, I spelled it the way she does.) Her real name is Theola, and I have never heard her addressed that way.

The sister thing is rampant in families, but I wonder if it is strictly a southern thing.