Reading the optimist’s daughter at first under whelmed me. I, at the very beginning, started to complain and say ” What a bore! a Boring story! Boring characters! Utterly devoid of any interesting or meaningful moments”. However, I changed my mind totally by finishing it as a whole. When I knew how Laurel went on her life, I realized how things go a whole lot deeper. I realized that Eudora Welty is really talking about how through one’s own strength, he can preserve thru any challenges sent his way. She wants to say that life is much easier if one casts his burden into someone whom he loves or trusts. Relatives and friends, in this regard, are the best to help one get thru his suffering and as they say ” a friend indeed, a friend in need”.
Actually, this novel assures the fact that life is nothing without the people whom we really love. Laurel’s character reflects this pure love towards one’s parents. Welty, as a feminist writer, shows Laurel as a sensitive, caring and open-minded daughter. She cannot help losing her father; she falls in a deep grief by the death of him. In the same time, she doesn’t pay a great attention to her snobbish and child-like stepmother. However, this very stepmother, Fay, tries her best to tease and irritate Laurel. She does not care about the way how Laurel feels after the loss of her father. Simply because she had never been through a matter like that. Welty, as a feminist too, highlights the image of gossiping that takes place between Laurel’s friends, who keep chitchatting about Fay’s behavior. Welty again portrays Fay as an ugly person and ill-mannered thru the lies she tells. Besides, Fay is not liked by welty because she is self-centered and egotistic. That was pretty clear when she began to yell at her dying husband, saying to him that she insists to see the carnival he already promised her to see. What is worse than this, is that when she began to scream and shout expressing her madness at her husband who died at her birthday.
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As a matter of fact, If I wasn’t knowing that the writer of this novel is a female writer, I would have been able to tell that the author is a woman rather than a man.To conclude, The Optimist’s Daughter is about the contemporary losing of home and family ties and its effect on grief, love, and the acknowledgment of loss. Also, it is about relationship with the persons in one’s life, with the past and with the future.