Summary Of The Rebelling Belle In Katherine Anne Porter's Old Mortality

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The Rebelling Belle in Katherine Anne Porter’s Old Mortality When one hears about the American South, one of the first things that come to mind is the Southern Belle. With their elegant dresses and their unmistakable charm, the belles have definitely left their mark on history. But were all the belles accepting their position within the Southern society? Katherine Anne Porter, in her short story Old Mortality, attempts, with the aid of Aunt Amy, to analyze and deconstruct the figure of the Southern Belle, focusing on both Amy’s acts of rebellion and the impact that her privileges (beauty, charm etc) had on them. The reader’s first contact with Aunt Amy is made via a description of a photo of hers:
She was a spirited-looking young woman, with dark curly hair cropped and parted on the side, a short oval face with straight eyebrows, and a large curved mouth. A round white collar rose from the neck of her tightly buttoned black basque, and round white cuffs set off lazy hands with dimples in them, lying at ease in the folds of her flounced skirt which gathered around to a bustle.
She sat thus, forever in the pose of being photographed, a motionless image in her dark walnut frame with silver oak leaves in the corners, her smiling gray eyes following one about the room. It was a reckless indifferent smile, rather disturbing to her nieces
Maria and Miranda. (Porter 173)
This photo was taken during Amy’s attempts to get rid of Gabriel. It is obvious from its description that Aunt
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