Sympathy-Gaining Sister In Why I Live At The P. O.

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The Sympathy-Gaining Sister From an outsider’s point of view, this story might seem like just an average family altercation. However, when Why I Live at the P.O. is told from Sister’s point of view, the reader sympathizes with Sister and respects her decisions. Sister’s sole point in telling this story is to justify her actions and gain the reader’s sympathy. Telling the story from her point of view allows Sister to influence her audience by calling out the reader and belittling Stella-Rondo. However, the reader must also note Sister’s altered state of mind which may contribute to an unreliable retelling of the story. Although the first-person point of view is used throughout the majority of the story, Welty occasionally used second-person.…show more content…
Sister tells her story in past tense, and her being a significant participant in the action may alter her memory of what actually happened. Sister points out that she is stressed out by Stella-Rondo’s sudden homecoming. She says, “There I was over the hot stove, trying to stretch two chickens over five people and a completely unexpected child into the bargain, without one moment’s notice.” The irritation of suddenly having to cook for more people than she expected may contribute to how Sister reacts to Stella-Rondo’s comments and how she recounts the incident. The stress and irritation are only added when Stella-Rondo turns Papa-Daddy against her. Sister also points out that she has to prepare the green tomato pickle since “Mama had turned both the niggers loose.” Mama shames Stella-Rondo for making such a dish that will not agree with Uncle Rondo or Shirley-T. At this point Sister feels as if she is being criticized by every family member and can not please anyone. Due to this story being told in first-person point of view, it is vital that Sister retell the story exactly as it happens. However, the reader must take into account Sister’s altered state of mind when reading the
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