Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

English (Literature)

Department or School/College

Department of English

Committee Chair

Christopher Knight


character studies, photography


University of Montana


Welty’s argument stating the only part of fiction that matters is its integrity is seen in all of her work. When she writes of integrity, she states that the integrity of a novel is its ability to stand the test of time. Welty believes that the writer’s job is to take life and show it as it really is. There is a “shared act of imagination between its writer and reader”(Welty 805). This shared act is what allows the writer to take a stand and say something important about life and people. Instead of looking at the generalities of a social cause, Welty looks at the individual involved in the cause, or an individual living in a certain time period. She explores how the social rules effect the people living in that time. She is not exploring the social rules and how they should be changed on a large scale, but only in how it effects certain people in the community. Through this personal exploration, Welty believes that her writing is more powerful than a novelist who takes on a cause head on. This chapter will explore that idea. How does Welty’s ability to explore an individual help her to not only connect to her reader, but also show the injustices of certain social problems.

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