The Corner Store;By Eudora Welty
use the uploaded file to work on this coursework. The instruction : Using Welty’s essay (Uploaded file) as a model, describe your neighborhood store or supermarket. Gather a large quantity of detailed information from memory and from an actual visit to the store if that is still possible. Once you have gathered your information, try to select those details that will help you create a dominant impression of the store. Finally, organize your examples and illustrations according to some clear organizational patterns.
The Corner Store
By Eudora Welty
Our Little Store rose right up from the sidewalk; standing in a street of family houses, it
alone hadn’t any yard in front, any tree or flowerbed. It was a plain frame building covered over
with brick. Above the door, a little railed porch ran across on an upstairs level and four windows
with shades were looking out. But I didn’t catch on to those.
Running in out of the sun, you met what seemed total obscurity inside. There were almost
tangible smells – licorice recently sucked in a child’s cheek, dill-pickle brine that had leaked
through a paper sack in a fresh trail across the wooden floor, ammonia-loaded ice that had been
hoisted from wet crocker sacks and slammed into the icebox with its sweet butter at the door, and
perhaps the smell of still-untrapped mice.
Then through the motes of cracker dust, cornmeal dust, the Gold Dust of the Gold Dust
Twins that the floor had been swept out with, the realities emerged. Shelves climbed to high reach
all the way around, set out with not too much of any one thing but a lot of things – lard, molasses,
vinegar, starch, matches, kerosene, Octagon soap (about a year’s worth of octagon-shaped
coupons cut out and saved brought a signet ring addressed to you in the mail. Furthermore, when
the postman arrived at your door, he blew a whistle). It was up to you to remember what you
came for, while your eye traveled from cans of sardines to ice cream salt to harmonicas to
flypaper (over your head, batting around on a thread beneath the blades of the ceiling fan, stuck
with its testimonial catch).
Its confusion may have been in the eye of its beholder. Enchantment is cast upon you by all
those things you weren’t supposed to have need for, it lures you close to wooden tops you’d
outgrown, boy’s marbles and agates in little net pouches, small rubber balls that wouldn’t bounce
straight, frazzly kite-string, clay bubble-pipes that would snap off in your teeth, the stiffest
scissors. You could contemplate those long narrow boxes of sparklers gathering dust while you
waited for it to be the Fourth of July or Christmas, and noisemakers in the shape of tin frogs for
somebody’s birthday party you hadn’t been invited to yet, and see that they were all marvelous.
You might not have even looked for Mr. Sessions when he came around his store cheese
Eudora Welty (1909-2001) was born in the southern town of Jackson, Mississippi, where she lived most of
her life and she died in 2001. One of the most honored writers of the twentieth century, she is most often
remembered as a master of the short story. The following selection is taken from her book Collected Essays
(as big as a doll’s house) and in front of the counter looking for you. When you’d finally asked
him for, and received from him in its paper bag, whatever single thing it was that you had been
sent for, the nickel that was left over was yours to spend.
Down at a child’s eye level, inside those glass jars with mouths in their sides through which
the grocer could run his scoop or a child’s hand might be invited to reach for a choice, were
wineballs, all-day suckers, gumdrops, peppermints. Making a row under the glass of a counter
were the Tootsie Rolls, Hershey Bars, Goo-Goo Clusters, Baby Ruths. And whatever was the
name of those pastilles that came stacked in a cardboard cylinder with a cardboard lid? They were
thin and dry, about the size of tiddlywinks, and in the shape of twisted rosettes. A kind of
chocolate dust came out with them when you shook them out in your hand. Were they chocolate?
I’d say rather they were brown. They didn’t taste of anything at all, unless it was wood. Their
attraction was the number you got for a nickel.
Making up your mind, you circled the store around and around, around the pickle barrel,
around the tower of Cracker Jack boxes; Mr. Sessions had built it for us himself on top of a
packing case, like a house of cards.
If it seemed too hot for Cracker Jacks, I might get a cold drink. Mr. Sessions might have
already stationed himself by the cold-drinks barrel, like a mind reader. Deep in ice water that
looked black as ink, murky shapes that would come up as Coca-Colas, Orange Crushes, and
various flavors of pop, were all swimming around together. When you gave the word, Mr.
Sessions plunged his bare arm in to the elbow and fished out your choice, first try. I favored a
locally bottled concoction called Lake’s Celery. (What else could it be called? It was made by a
Mr. Lake out of celery. It was a popular drink here for years but was not known universally, as I
found out when I arrived in New York and ordered one in the Astor bar.) You drank on the
premises, with feet set wide apart to miss the drip, and gave him back his bottle.
But he didn’t hurry you off. A standing scale was by the door, with a 20 stack of iron
weights and a brass slide on the balance arm that would weigh you up to three hundred pounds.
Mr. Sessions, whose hands were gentle and smelled of carbolic, would lift you up and set your
feet on the platform, hold your loaf of bread for you, and taking his time while you stood still for
him, he would make certain of what you weighed today. He could even remember what you
weighed last time, so you could subtract and announce how much you’d gained. That was goodbye.