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Swimming Free of the Matriarchy: Sexual Baptism and Feminine Individuality in Eudora Welty's The Golden Apples

Swimming Free of the Matriarchy: Sexual Baptism and Feminine Individuality in Eudora Welty's... Swimming Free of the Matriarchy: Sexual Baptism and Feminine Individuality in Eudora Welty s The Golden Apples by Brannon Costello Critics have often commented upon the strong feminist and sexual implications of Eudora Welty’s story-cycle The Golden Apples. Patricia Yaeger calls The Golden Apples “a beautifully crafted and gender-preoccupied novel whose emphasis on sexuality . . . has not been fully comprehended” ( 956). Julia Demmin and Daniel Curley note the book’s emphasis on “not only the ancient myths of the male godhead but also the even more ancient myths of the female mysteries” (242), and Daniele Pitavy-Souques points out the “strong sexual connotation” (263) of the mythical stories that lend the narrative a sort of structure. One aspect of The Golden Apples’ powerful sexual imagery that has long gone unexamined is Welty’s unique and sub- versive connection of sexuality with water imagery. Scholars have fre- quently ignored (or at least not fully explored ) the thematic ramifications of the ever-present water images in The Golden Apples. Moon Lake, the Big Black River, the Mississippi River, even the Pacific Ocean: water images pervade and unite the stories that compose this volume. Noel Polk has observed that in Welty’s work, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Swimming Free of the Matriarchy: Sexual Baptism and Feminine Individuality in Eudora Welty's The Golden Apples

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 33 (1) – Dec 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Department of English of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Swimming Free of the Matriarchy: Sexual Baptism and Feminine Individuality in Eudora Welty s The Golden Apples by Brannon Costello Critics have often commented upon the strong feminist and sexual implications of Eudora Welty’s story-cycle The Golden Apples. Patricia Yaeger calls The Golden Apples “a beautifully crafted and gender-preoccupied novel whose emphasis on sexuality . . . has not been fully comprehended” ( 956). Julia Demmin and Daniel Curley note the book’s emphasis on “not only the ancient myths of the male godhead but also the even more ancient myths of the female mysteries” (242), and Daniele Pitavy-Souques points out the “strong sexual connotation” (263) of the mythical stories that lend the narrative a sort of structure. One aspect of The Golden Apples’ powerful sexual imagery that has long gone unexamined is Welty’s unique and sub- versive connection of sexuality with water imagery. Scholars have fre- quently ignored (or at least not fully explored ) the thematic ramifications of the ever-present water images in The Golden Apples. Moon Lake, the Big Black River, the Mississippi River, even the Pacific Ocean: water images pervade and unite the stories that compose this volume. Noel Polk has observed that in Welty’s work,

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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