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The Fierce Humanity of Morgana: Welty's The Golden Apples

The Fierce Humanity of Morgana: Welty's The Golden Apples The Fierce Humanity of Morgana: Welty’s The Golden Apples by Jeff rey J. Folks A sense of terror underlies the seemingly uneventful daily life of Morgana, Mississippi. Terror — surprisingly, perhaps, one of Eudora Welty’s favorite words — governs much of the psychological existence of human beings in The Golden Apples, and Welty’s central concern in the novel is the diffi culty of comprehending its causes and dealing with its eff ects. The widespread sense of anxiety among the characters in Wel- ty’s writing can be traced to the fact that human society, as Welty com- prehends it, would appear to be an illusory structure of polite discourse that barely conceals an underlying strata of violence. Beneath the gen- teel fabric of middle-class social interaction there lies a savage world of selfi shness, spite, and ambition. Given the force of these primal motives, the conventional social rituals that are meant to contain them appear to be little more than hypocritical gestures. In light of Welty’s depiction of the ineff ectuality of human social rituals, it is not surprising that more profound values of truthfulness and creativity should be fundamental in her writing and that those who strongly assert these http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

The Fierce Humanity of Morgana: Welty's The Golden Apples

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

The Fierce Humanity of Morgana: Welty’s The Golden Apples by Jeff rey J. Folks A sense of terror underlies the seemingly uneventful daily life of Morgana, Mississippi. Terror — surprisingly, perhaps, one of Eudora Welty’s favorite words — governs much of the psychological existence of human beings in The Golden Apples, and Welty’s central concern in the novel is the diffi culty of comprehending its causes and dealing with its eff ects. The widespread sense of anxiety among the characters in Wel- ty’s writing can be traced to the fact that human society, as Welty com- prehends it, would appear to be an illusory structure of polite discourse that barely conceals an underlying strata of violence. Beneath the gen- teel fabric of middle-class social interaction there lies a savage world of selfi shness, spite, and ambition. Given the force of these primal motives, the conventional social rituals that are meant to contain them appear to be little more than hypocritical gestures. In light of Welty’s depiction of the ineff ectuality of human social rituals, it is not surprising that more profound values of truthfulness and creativity should be fundamental in her writing and that those who strongly assert these

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 8, 2007

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