Do Not Touch A Woman, Not Even A Strand Of Her Hair
Just a story of a female with unachievable dreams, that came true.
A female in a sexist society. A female with dreams, desires, and ambition but also a female with insecurities and social strains. What a beautiful but painful description in my opinion. You may be asking, is this a female experiencing success or disaster? This is a female who worked for what she desired, a female who despite the obstacles had a dream that she would never let go of. This is, Eudora Welty.
An American short story writer whose passion sparked at a very young age, Eudora was a female, and there was no way writing would lead her to success, her father thought. Despite her ambitions to follow her dreams, Welty was obligated to do as her father desired, go to college and study marketing, or a career of high esteem. On her own time, Welty continued to practice her writing skills, as she dreamed of becoming a well-known writer who would have the power to touch the hearts of others through the stories of her compelling experiences.
In 1931, Welty’s father died and her mother became severely ill which eventually resulted in her death. Welty was on the threshold once again. It seemed as if everything was against her dreams. Time after, her fictional techniques started to gain wider acceptance. At some point, Welty states to have seen the death of her parents as a relief as she had, for the first time, felt free. She began to believed that her time for success as a writer had arrived. Little did she know that it was not time to shine just yet. Her two brothers died shortly after along with the deaths of other close relatives and friends.
You may be asking yourself, why. Why was Welty so determined in becoming a writer despite the obstacles. This is because that is what a hero’s journey consists of. It consists of having struggles and being able to overcome them. It consists of not giving up because a hero is a hero for what they have done not for what has been given to them. Welty had to undergo circumstances that were very extreme at a young age which were represented through her work. She once stated that writing was her only escape and her only way of coping with her brutal reality. Known as a wicked woman within her community and thought to be “cursed,” people refused to have any real relationship and avoided contact with her.
The road to character revolves around the reasoning behind an individual’s decision to take on a specific journey. This road varies incredibly amongst all people, some individuals may be influenced by their past experiences, their goals, or through the people around them. Everyone has their own specific road to character that defines who they are and what they are pursuing to accomplish.
In a society and time period in which men were the dominating force, Welty experienced difficulty in gaining the attention of others as no one wanted to read the “ignorant” ideas running through the female mind. People in her community would laugh at her work and some even consider her to be mentally ill. For the first time, a female was passionate enough to write about female experiences and the troubles that they were submitted to.
If you’ve read some of her stories, you may be asking the reasoning behind her common obsession with the subject of love as one is aware of all the troubles that it has caused her. It seems to be ironic and as we know Welty is, undeniably, the queen of irony. One can infer that describing the idea of love with such beautiful connotations was Welty’s way of re-creating her own reality and describing the expectations of life that she had wished for.
Welty comments that, “writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life.” In her writing, Welty never explicitly states the concept of sexual generalization directly but she does include this idea. As a result of her childhood and her early years, she seemed to have a reliance on men, despite of her feministic personality. Her father governed her actions, she lived in a patriarchal society, so now how can we expect her to forget about men. In her short story book, The Golden Apples, Welty spends a lot of time describing the relationship between Snowdie and King MacLain. Snowdie is a vulnerable female who is “white as can be, whiter than your dreams,” and in love with King, a brutal man who is only in it for the fling. Through this parallel characterization, Welty mirrors her own relationships and her feelings of reliance on men.
The troubles Welty experienced, did not define her, she found success within her stumbles as she became one of the most widely known writers. Around the world, people read her work and feel extremely connected to it. Welty used her work to empower women and encouraged them to flee their subjectivity to men. She effectively used her experiences to characterized her work and lead her to success.