The story was the beginning of a long and critically successful career for Welty, one of the unique voices of the American South. Welty , who lived her entire life in Jackson, Mississippi would later win the Pulitzer Prize in for her work. Bowman, a shoe salesman, during the last final hours of his life. Bowman has been a traveling salesman for fourteen years, having recently recovered from a serious case of influenza. On his first day back at work, Bowman is unexpectedly anxious and eventually drives his car off the road. Bowman is unable to articulate what is wrong.
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We can read into this that his heart is not in his work, or that his heart is in some way broken. Certainly it is empty and seeking to be filled. He is back on the road before he is fully recovered, and throughout the tale his heart seems to be lurching and clutching, trying to speak. But hearts do not speak, and even if they do, other people do not hear them; for this we need words, and the lonely and alienated salesman has no words for what is wrong with him.
His car inexplicably falls into a ravine, and he goes to the nearest farmhouse for help. The farm wife is dowdy, frumpy, and prematurely aged—no one that the more cosmopolitan salesman would find attractive—but he recognizes that within her there is life as well as the evidence of having been loved.
Within him there is nothing. He sleeps overnight at their house and leaves in the morning, alone as always; he has been profoundly changed by his meeting with the farm couple, but he has not articulated this to them because he cannot quite understand it himself.
What would he like to say? Possibly that he now understands the necessity of love, and of roots; possibly that he needs to reform his life. But he keeps the emotion bottled up inside him, the words unspoken. When he gets back out to his car, back onto the highway which symbolizes his rootless life, the pressure is so great that his heart bursts, and he dies.
An Analysis of Eudora Welty’s “Death of a Traveling Salesman”
She grew up with younger brothers Edward Jefferson and Walter Andrews. Welty soon developed a love of reading reinforced by her mother, who believed that "any room in our house, at any time in the day, was there to read in, or to be read to. She later used technology for symbolism in her stories and also became an avid photographer, like her father. Wyatt C. At the suggestion of her father, she studied advertising at Columbia University. Because she graduated in the depths of the Great Depression , she struggled to find work in New York.
Death of a Traveling Salesman