Eudora Welty’s One Writer's Beginnings: Personal Experiences and Influence of Literature on Author’s Life

Categories: Eudora Welty

In Eudora Wetly’s One Writer’s Beginnings, Wetly writes about her life experiences and the way that books and literature have changed her. She writes of her story from her perspective and through personal experiences and her relationships with certain characters that she has communicated with. Wetly writes of her experiences with literary and rhetorical devices to try to prove her point and thoughts.

In the first paragraph of the excerpt, Wetly talks about the librarian in her local library.

She uses parallel structure in describing her physical form. She uses diction that help the reader to visualize the way that Mrs.

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Calloway, the librarian, looked. “...she sat with her back to the books, and facing the stairs, her dragon eye on the front door,” uses metaphors to describe the way that others looked at her. Wetly describes Mrs. Calloway in a way that one would describe a monster and also explained why others were so scared of her. She ends the paragraph by describing the environment in the library and how pitch silent it was because of the way that Mrs. Calloway enforced it.

The second paragraph begins with the descriptions of what Mrs. Calloway would do if one approached her. Wetly emphasized on the strict conservatism of Mrs. Calloway and the way that she implied rules. She starts off in paragraph 3 and line 21 describing that one person who was not scared of Mrs. Calloway was her mother. The excerpt takes a turn in tone with the dialogue that becomes present that is quoted by the author’s mother.

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Wetly’s mother told the librarian that Eudora had the permission to read from almost every book except for books by a certain author or else she would be harmed. She used the metaphor by describing that Wetly would fall off a piano stool. She speaks of new words that she has learned when she was a kid with a tone of amazement and a bit of sass in the tone that she used to contradict with what her mother told her in line 35 when she says “I never hear it yet without the image that comes with it of falling straight off the piano stool.”

Wetly starts off the third paragraph by mentioning the rules that Mrs. Calloway made and speaks of her in a disapproving tone. She then uses parallelism to describe that only two books could be checked out at once with the book check out rule. She specifically gives titles to the books that she read and also uses italics to emphasize on how much reading meant to her and why she liked to read so much. She uses diction and imagery as well as personification to explain her experiences with reading. She ends the excerpt by giving an anecdote that involved her mother in the kitchen.

The end of the excerpt ends with a mentioning of an anecdote that happened later on in her life and quoting from a book that her mother was reading and how it correlated to her life at the time in real life. This shows a parallelism from her past and her present as well as a correlation between the past and the present.

Updated: Feb 18, 2024
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Eudora Welty’s One Writer's Beginnings: Personal Experiences and Influence of Literature on Author’s Life. (2024, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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