Fay's personality is not pleasant and causes everyone in the story to see her as obnoxious, self-centered, and rude. In the course of the story, we see that Fay is also dishonest, for one in saying that all of her family is dead. Judge McKelva met her at the Southern Bar Association at the old Gulf Coast hotel where Fay had a part-time job at the time. Fay is originally from Madrid, Texas, which is a small, low-income town. Her life reflects a century of change and is closely entwined with many events that mark our recent history. Only a southerner could have read this and I'm thankful that the author did.
The Judge's death is tragic, but there is something more tragic still, the separation of the sick and the doomed from the people who love them. She seems very pleased with and delighted by the differing, yet caring personalities of each person in her family. When Laurel lets go of the breadboard, she isn't thinking of her dead father or her dead mother or her dead husband but, oddly, of Fay's nephew, Wendell, a little boy from Madrid, Texas who attended the funeral without the faintest notion of what he was seeing or hearing. As more and more material becomes available on mother- daughter relationships, it becomes apparent that being a mother and being a daughter means different things to different people depending on race, economics, social status and blood type. Welty differs from Laurel in the sense that Laurel lives far from her hometown, while Welty lived in Mississippi, where she was born, until her death Marrs 232. She only needs to care for her child, be there for her child, and love her child. From one perspective, this novel is an autobiographical account of a Japanese American girl and the ways in which she constructed her own self-identity.
Shoulder to shoulder, they had long since made their own family. After the funeral, Fay makes a snap decision to return to Texas with her family for a short time before returning at the end of the novel to take possession of her new home. This makes her extremely hard to get along with since she is always demanding and never giving. If Fay were a monster and Laurel simply nostalgic, the arena of action would shrink. His voice rose with the wind in the night and went around the house and around the house.
Mothers and daughters have been written about, criticized, publicized, condemned, and praised for a long time. Welty's reading brings immediacy and resonance to these wonderful tales. The beginning of the novel takes place in a hospital in the bustling city during Mardi Gras. After her distraught and immature stepmother leaves, Laurel finally has time to herself in the house she grew up in with the friends and neighbors she knew since childhood. At the time Eudora Welty wrote this story, she was grieving the loss of her mother. Though they exist under the shadow of her domination and menace, Fay's relatives make solid claims on life--vitality and endurance--that have to be weighed against Laurel's tradition and understanding. The activity of gardening helps her to feel comfortable and close to her parents, as she participates in the rhythm of the household as she remembers it.
It is a safe haven where both Laurel and Fay can be truthful with themselves and one another. Fay is raked over the coals, yet Laurel, the one person who has reason to hate her, overhears rather than participates in the conversation. The mother and daughter have a co-dependent relationship with each other, even though the daughter resents caring for her sickly mother for so many years. Laurel and Fay are thrown together when they return the Judge to his home town of Mount Salus, Mississippi, where he will be buried. Becky Mckelva was Judge Mckelva's wife before she died and had Laurel Mckelva with him. NaivetÈ doesn't make her any less destructive but saves her from being malevolent. Because the struggle between Laurel and Fay is a battle of values, it takes place inside Laurel as well; she is forced for the first time in her life to examine what she believes in.
A poetic, semi-autobiographical look at death and life, as peculiarly experienced in the South, sure to strike a chord with anyone who has lost a parent. The other characters in the novel pity her. Her visit to her hometown and the memories of her parents open up a new insight on life for Laurel. When the boy is found nearly drained of blood in a cave, the Black Hundreds accuse the Jews of ritual murder. Whenever she becomes mad, Fay starts to scream, point fingers, and search out people who will help her. The warmth of the town clashes with Fay's dissenting and antagonistic personality.
Incredibly, Laurel is able to do so. The surprise appearance of the Chisoms-- Fay's relatives--at the Judge's funeral in Mississippi enlarges the frame of the novel, which is being widened, actually, from two directions: Laurel's past, and the future implicit in Fay. When Judge McKelva is told that he needs to have surgery on his retina, Laurel flies down to be with him for the procedure and recovery. I loved the description of the sewing woman, Miss Berna Longmeyer. Fay and Laurel find the havens they need by going back to their homes. This paper will explore the meaning of being a mother and being a daughter by combining all of these independent variables.
It was first published as a long story in the New Yorker in March 1969 and was subsequently revised and published in book form in 1972. When Fay decides to stay with her family for a few days after the funeral, Laurel has the opportunity to spend some time alone in the house before Fay takes full possession of it. Her mother, Becky McKelva slowly loses her vision as she approaches her death, and her father, Judge McKelva dies while attempting to recover from a cataract surgery. What we would have would be case histories. Fay does not appreciate the home and the possessions of her late husband than she does his friends and family. It is because of him that Laurel lays down her weapon, relinquishing the past to the dead at last. Ruth decided to devote herself to her mother, so she moved in with her.