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Teaching the Works of Eudora WeltyTwenty-First-Century Approaches$
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Mae Miller Claxton and Julia Eichelberger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496814531

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496814531.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 22 June 2021

Finding Hope

Finding Hope

Listening to Welty’s Words in “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies”

Chapter:
(p.224) Finding Hope
Source:
Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty
Author(s):

Sharon Deykin Baris

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496814531.003.0031

This essay leads today’s student to heed Welty’s response to financial and social crises in the mid-1930s. Two expressions, “Hope Chest” and “Fiji,” accompany our first view of Lily. A student now using Google and other research tools fathoms these terms’ valence in advertisements and essays in Time or National Geographic. Classroom discussion recognizes a tendency toward safekeeping or distant hopes in avoidance of trouble. When the Ladies pack off Lily toward a far asylum, but then decide to keep her home, students reconsider Lily’s nod upon return. They see it not only as acknowledgment of conformist presumptions, but awareness of other experiences which, like the hat in midair, have been shared at home. Anthropologists in the 1930s sought recognition of “relativity of cultures” as a benefit for our troubled world; students now hear Welty’s words as the expression of “hope not despair” in town.

Keywords:   Hope Chest, Fiji, Relativity of Cultures, Hope, “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies”

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