“Livvie”


Eudora Welty’s "Livvie", is a great story on how life should be celebrated. The title, “Livvie,” indicates the vibrant life of the protagonist, Livvie. The story is about a young woman, who marries an old man, which in a sense imprisons her. The young girl gets a second chance at life when a younger man (someone her own age) enters her life and the older man is about to die. The theme Welty is trying to get across is live life to the fullest. Welty shows the theme through the character, setting, and symbols. Some examples of Weltsy’s lyrical style were: restraint-freedom, winter-spring, and death-life.


First of all, Livvie, is a character whom the reader finds to be restricted at the beginning of the story and at the end in a life without restrictions. Solomon is the husband of the young woman, whose name kind of explains what type of man he is going to be in the story. Solomon was the king of Israel and in the story Welty provides information that Solomon is playing a king type role. Welty says Solomon had a bed "like a throne". "Solomon had never let Livvie go any farther than the chicken house and the well. Welty shows the control Solomon has over Livvie (the young girl). Another sign of control that Welty shows in the story is, "Solomon would not have let Livvie look at them, just as he would not let her look at a field hand or a field hand look at her". He does not realize how unappreciative he is making Livvie. Miss Baby Marie and Cash shine a little light on the story. They both show her that there is still a lot to explore in life. This is the beginning of Livvie getting her freedom.


Secondly, the setting also plays a significant part in the story. The story is set up in a nice isolated area. It is in the spring around Easter. By Solomon staying in an isolated area which was unfamiliar to Livvie, he had all control over her. At the time she was only a girl. This way Solomon could control who sees Livvie and who does not. Easter also represents a meaning in the story. Welty lets the audience know it is around Easter when Cash says, "I ready for Easter". Easter means the "rebirth". It is a turning point for Livvie in the story. She is in the process of living a lifestyle of isolation to living a life of great opportunities. Welty lets the audience know Cash is going to be the one to lead Livvie to this life of great opportunities. Welty wrote "It might be if he had not appeared the way he did appear that day she would never have looked so closely at him, but the time people come makes a difference". Cash shows up at the time. Solomon being old and lifeless represents winter and this quote is an example of that; “The little shape of the old man never moved at all, wrapped under the quilt as if it were winter still.” While, spring offers a sense of newness, winter offers a dismal and isolated sense.


Thirdly, Solomon is dying and Livvie is ready to go out and see what the world has to offer. Livvie’s life has been stolen away from her because of Solomon. As he is dying, Livvie begins to realize there is more to life to be learned. “In that instant she felt something that could not be told- that Solomon’s death was at hand, that he was the same to her as if he were dead now.” Livvie already felt Solomon was dead, because he was so lifeless and always in his bed. Miss Baby Marie and Cash are who give Livvie her life back. They both kind of persuade Livvie to go out and explore life a little more. Marie does so by showing Livvie what the outer world has to offer. For example, about the cosmetics, Livvie gets so excited about the color of the lipstick. It must remind her of something in life.


In conclusion, Livvie is basically a story about a young woman whose life is stolen away