The Future Growls: Voices and Machines in Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings

Noel Polk


Abstract: Eudora Welty begins her memoir, One Writer's Beginnings, with a short italicized introit, a brief scene in which the very young Eudora pauses on the stairs lacing her shoes while her father shaves in the upstairs bathroom and her mother prepares breakfast downstairs. She listens to her father whistle "The Merry Widow Waltz" while her mother tries to whistle and then hums the same song in return. Eudora finds their song full of joy, unlike the "growling" she hears when they play the new Victrola. This paper explores the ironies introduced in that scene, among them the fact that her father died at a very young age and her mother was anything but a "merry widow" for the rest of her life. The mechanical "growling" of the Victrola becomes, as this paper sees it, a kind of metaphor for their lives as a family.

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Qualis (CAPES): B1 (Quadriênio 2013-2016)



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