Sister's Jealousy in "Why I Live at the P.O."

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Jealousy between siblings materializes because one of them feels overshadowed by the other. For girls, this results in a lack of confidence. If a girl loses to her sister, younger or older, insecurity builds underneath often causing hostility between them. In Eudora Welty’s “Why I Live at the P.O.,” Sister’s resentfulness towards her sister hinders her ability to become independent. Stella-Rondo brings out jealousy in Sister that causes tension between them. Sister hates that Stella-Rondo married Mr. Whitaker since Sister supposedly had him first. She feels like Stella-Rondo broke them up by lying. Most likely, Sister is upset because she was not the one to end up with the guy she liked, but she displays her feelings childishly. Sister’s …show more content…
Sister, convinced that Shirley-T. is not adopted, makes the comment that she looks like their grandfather if he were to ever cut off his beard. So, the first thing Stella-Rondo does when they sit down to eat is attempt to turn Papa-Daddy against Sister. Even though Sister tries to deny what Stella-Rondo says, Papa-Daddy does not listen, but if Sister would argue her innocence without correcting him and getting upset with him, she would have improved the situation. Stella-Rondo easily gets Mama on her side by playing the victim card. Sister thinks that Mama favors her sister, and she points out that “if it had been me that trotted in from Illinois and brought a peculiar-looking child of two, I shudder to think of the reception I’d of got” (362). Mama denies any such accusation and becomes angry when Sister suggests that Shirley-T. might have a problem speaking. After that, Sister is convinced that Stella-Rondo has turned her mama against her while upstairs with her. Uncle Rondo, who has always been particularly fond of Sister, has a bad temper, and Stella-Rondo knows this. Sister concludes that Stella-Rondo would aim to make Uncle Rondo angry with her before dinner even started. Indeed, Sister’s paranoia is not in vain because Stella-Rondo lies to Uncle Rondo saying that it was Sister who made fun of him wearing the kimono. In hearing this, he becomes outraged at Sister and retaliates by throwing lit fireworks
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