Supplementary Discussion of Eudora Welty's "The Whole World Knows"

  You are not assigned a specific question to answer in supplementary discussion, but feel free to use any of the question below or create your own. 

You are required to post to 5 supplementary discussions over the course of the semester. You can do more for extra credit, so long as you do it in the scheduled timeframe.

13 Questions To Ask of Every Story: 

1.          What makes this story “literary”? 


2.          Why is this story considered one of the best stories of the past hundred years? If it’s an old story, why has it endured?


3.          Why do you think this story was considered one of the best / most iconic stories at the time of its publication? What made it a “successful” story?


4.          Plot: What is the “rich ground situation” (conflict) of the story? What happens to complicate this ground situation?


5.          Plot: What is the climax of this story? How does the moment irrevocably change everything?


6.          Character: In what ways does the writer show character?


7.          Character: In what ways does the character drive the action of the story?


8.          Point of view: Why do you think the writer chose this particular point of view for the story? How does the point of view function to establish distance or make us feel a certain way?


9.          Setting: How does the setting work within the story? What are the key places, and in how does the writer describe them?


10.      Pick three of the best lines in the story. Why are they good lines?


11.      Do a little bit of research on this author. Is this story a good example of his/her work? Is there anything else you learned that could add to our understanding of the story?


12.      What do you think the reader is supposed to take from the story? What can we, as writers, learn from studying it?

13. How is this story similar to others we've read? How is it different?


  1. The first line I chose was on page 146, "Mother said, son, you're walking around in a dream" I chose this line because after finishing the story I came back to this line. It didn't stand out to me at first but after finishing the story. I felt like the main character and his relationships were not realistic through his eyes and his mother in a way was the voice of reason in his head.

    The next line I chose was, "He spoke with no pain. Of course he never felt pain, never had time to." This story was pretty dark and made me uncomfortable but this line stood out to me. A lot of this story was surrounded by Ran's violent daydreams which is why this line stood out to me because despite his violent thoughts I felt like he was avoiding a lot of his pain and the pain of the people around him.


    1. Nice analysis of these lines. I, too, felt like those opening lines had a new resonance when I reached the end of the story.

  2. 12. What do you think the reader is supposed to take from the story? What can we, as writers, learn from studying it?
    I think the reader is suppose take that everyone has violent and dark fantasies. I think we as writers can learn how to write a more crazy character going through mental problems. We can also learn about how how to "trick" your audience into what is really going on.


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