Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. W. D. Taylor
Dr. Lynn C. Dickerson
Eudora Welty's novels of Southern women and ritual reveal her desire to convey a woman's world and to imbue it with a prelapsarian power of feminine self-knowledge. To create this world, Welty draws upon the mythological signifiers of Demeter, Persephone, and Hecate. Utilizing natural imagery of food and flowers, Welty develops a fecund, spring-like landscape and explores the relationship between character, author, and myth. What begins in Delta Wedding as a search to reaffirm the existence of a world spirit concludes in The Optimist's Daughter as a triumphant rebirth of the feminine spirit. Laurel McKelva Hand, unlike her predecessor Laura McRaven, is no longer confined by a patriarchal system of self-definition; she is able to move freely between the boundaries of time and place and assume control of her own destiny.
Grubb, Amy Davidson, ""Something for the girls" : Demeter, Persephone, and Hecate in Eudora Welty's Delta wedding and The Optimist's daughter" (1996). Master's Theses. 603.