Eudora WeltyThe are only so many ways an author may sum up the course of a human life within just a few pages. Eudora Welty has the awesome talent of being able to do just this. In her stories “Where Is the Voice Coming From”, “A Visit of Charity” and “A Worn Path”, Welty uses the reoccuring themes of characterization, confrontation, journey, and insight into ones mind to convey key aspects of her stories. Through characterization Welty shows individuals who experience confrontations, and as a result complete a type of journey.With a chillingly cold attitude, the protagonist of “Where is The Voice Coming From” takes it upon himself to take care of what he feels to be an inconvenience in his life, by murdering a local civil rights activist in cold blood.
He later states, “I done what I done for my own pure-D satisfaction” (“Where is The Voice Coming From”482). This embodies the protagonist as a cruel, racist, self righteous murderer. One later is drawn to the conclusion that the only regret that the protagonist has is not getting the credit he believes he deserves for his crime.With the knowledge of her deathly ill grand son at home, Pheonix Jackson decides to head for town to receive medication for him. In her travels the reader is given a real insight into the person that Pheonix really is.
While crossing over a fallen down log, Pheonix jovially remarks, “I wasn’t as old as I thought” (“A Worn Path”636). One must realize the amount of strength and determination it must take for this frail old woman to accomplish such a task, yet Pheonix takes it with a grain of salt and keeps on going. At this point the reader finally realizes the respect that Pheonix deserves for being the beautifully harmonious person that she is.In another work of Welty’ we are depicted the character of a seemingly kind, charitable young Campfire girl, named Marion, who is sent to an old age home. Yet what we do not know is that Marion has another side to her besides the bright, vibrant young girl that she is. We soon come to see this side of her as she sprint from the old folks home, ” Under the prickly shrub she stopped and quickly, without being seen, retrieved a red apple she had hidden there.” (“A Visit of Charity).
The reader now realizes the true conniving ways that Marion withholds in the beginning. With Marion biting into the apple there is a subtle hint that she has had her initiation into evil and has lost, or never had her innocence. Out of all of Welty’ stories the theme of confrontation is no more violent then in “Where Is the Voice Coming From”. The protagonist sets out to finally confront the problem he has been turning over in his head, and that is the civil rights movement. He vents this anger in the murder of Roland. Throughout the story he speaks of , “And it’s so hot. It looks like the towns on fire.
By mentioning the heat, Welty is really refuring to the civil rights movement in general, and the boiling point it was at during that time period.