Culture and Influence of the South in Petrified Man by Eudora Welty

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Culture and Influence of the South in Petrified Man by Eudora Welty

When I think of the south, I think of southern hospitality. I picture people always talking to each other, whether it?s just small talk or gossip, which is the case in The Petrified Man. The dialogue itself appears to be pretty accurate (from what I can imagine anyway, since I?ve never been down south). The south definitely has a certain way of talking and Eudora Welty does a great job showing us, not just telling us, this dialect. From the very first sentence of the story, you know where you are, and the type of people involved in the story. ?Reach in my purse and git me a cigarette without no powder in it if you kin, Mrs. Fletcher, honey ? I don?t like no
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Although some people might be offended at the gesture that all the women in the south sit around and just talk about everyone else, I think it?s accurate. Not just in the south, and not just with women. For some reason, people find comfort in talking about other people?s lives and forgetting about theirs for a little while.

How do the major characters react to the story that Leota is telling? Do they change or learn anything?

I know when I hear a story, I don?t look for a moral to incorporate into my life. I just listen to the story and allow myself to be entertained. I believe that?s the same with the characters in this story. I don?t think they learned anything. Even at the very end of the story when Mrs. Pike?s son, Billy Boy, runs out of the beauty parlor and yells ?If you?re so smart, why ain?t you rich?? I don?t think either Leota or Mrs. Fletcher even understood his point.

I think Mrs. Fletcher did change however. At the beginning of the story it seemed that she was irate when she found out her pregnancy was the topic of discussion at the beauty parlor. ??Who was it?? demanded Mrs. Fletcher.? By the end of the story, once they had talked about everything that had happened to Mrs. Pike and her husband, Mrs. Fletcher felt fine about talking about the pregnancy. ?I guess I better learn how to spank little old bad boys,? as if once the attention was on someone else, she no longer cared about people talking

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