Impact of the Character's Narrative Voice in Three Works Analytical Essay by scribbler

Impact of the Character's Narrative Voice in Three Works
An analysis of the impact of the main character in creating and shaping Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," Eudora Welty's "Why I live at the P.O." and Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays".
# 152686 | 2,544 words | 0 sources | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 17, 2013 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry)

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This paper analyzes Alice Walker's story, "Everyday Use," Eudora Welty's story, "Why I Live at the P.O." and Robert Hayden's poem, "Those Winter Sundays" as examples of first person narratives where it is vitally important to understand the level of honesty and self-knowledge of the main character to comprehend the complexities of the tale. The paper highlights how one of the most skillful ways to generate interest is the use of a first-person narrator who 'sees' less than either the author or the reader, because of his or her emotional bias or the limits of his or her age and education. The paper notes that the effect can be comic or tragic, but either way it is compelling and draws the reader into the world of the tale.

From the Paper:

"Walker's choice of vocabulary, Mama's frank discussion of both of her daughter's faults and the short, clipped cadence of Mama's sentences all give a sense of the woman's unsparing, enduring character and her lack of sentimentality. Walker contrasts Mama's practical skills, language, and way of looking at life with her daughter Dee's highfalutin rhetoric and false assumption of an African persona. However, although Mama is admirable in many ways, she also has her limitations in terms of how she sees her daughters. For example, when Dee comes home from college Dee reveals she decided to take an African name, rather than her given name. Dee says her birth name can be traced to the control of oppressive slave owners, who gave white names to Africans many years ago. Given that Mama named Dee in honor of several of the family's relatives, Mama regards Dee's choice of a new name as incomprehensible. When Dee introduces her mother to her boyfriend, Mama informs the reader: "Well, soon we got the name out of the way. Asalamalakim had a name twice as long and three times as hard. After I tripped over it two or three times he told me to just call him Hakim.a.barber. I wanted to ask him was he a barber, but I didn't really think he was, so I didn't ask.""

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