Honors Theses

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Annette Trefzer

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This thesis analyzes Eudora Welty's short story collection, A Curtain of Green, and the interactions between its characters and the Mississippi economy. The paper takes into account Eudora Welty's work with the WPA during the Great Depression and her experiences photographing Mississippians throughout the state. Additionally, this thesis uses Welty's terminology when describing her experience of shopping as a child, specifically the enchantment of goods. This material is used to argue that Eudora Welty does address economic elements in her early short stories. Furthermore, this collection demonstrates a difference between gender participation in the economy, particularly among salesmen and female consumers. The male figures who transport goods across the state become disenchanted by their constant interaction with the economy, whereas female characters use their enchantment with the economy as an opportunity to exploit it. These women fulfill their hopes for economic security and social equality through consumerism. They use goods, entertainment, and travel to satisfy their desires for independence or marital stability. In A Curtain of Green, Welty presents a perspective on the Mississippi economy in which gender participation takes divergent routes for men and women.

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