“The little store” is a short story written by Eudora Welty who was born and brought up in Jackson, Mississippi. This is a small town where Eudora finds materials to include in her stories through observation and imagination (Welty 1). She lived with her family and enjoyed living in this small town because it seemed exciting to her since she was a child. All the activities going on in the little store amuses her and she would give anything to visit the store as many times as possible.
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Eudora grew up in state capitol of Mississippi where her mother kept a little pasture for their only cow, which produced their daily milk. Her mother was a homemaker and did all her home chores but never visited the grocery. Most of their groceries were delivered to the doorstep upon making an order and in case of emergencies, Eudora would always ran the errand to the little store. The store was owned by Mr. Sessions who together with his family managed it (Welty 2).
It was one of the groceries in the area that recorded high sales revenue on a daily basis due to the frequent visits made by children to get groceries for their families. Most children along that street knew the store as they knew their homes because it provided a good site for them to skip, play jacks, cycle, and even skate. It was more than a grocery; though it was small, there were a lot of activities that were taking place.
Eudora remembers the little store as a place where she spent most of her time during her childhood. She had played with her friends and brothers in the street near the store until darkness came. She even thought that the little store was made for children because she had never seen a grown up near it and would not have imagined that the owner’s family lived in the same building.
She was actually surprised the moment she saw Mr. Season’s family in the building because according to her, they did not look like a family because they never did things together nor did they eat from the same table. Near the little store, there were other houses, some with single occupants while in others lived family members, for instance Eudora’s family. In one house lived the principle of Eudora’s grade school even during the vocation, which got Eudora scared.
Near the down corner lived a little boy by the name Lindsey where a big chinaberry tree titled forward and backward. Eudora was a frequent visitor to the chinaberry with her skates waiting for the berries to fall and roll so as she could collect as many berries as possible before Lindsey caught up with her. However, she was not that fortunate because she and the little boy suffered from a flu epidemic at the same time that might have been caused by the berries.
The little store was in a world that made any child feel ineradicable. Every child dreamt of being in that area, which formed part of their daily lives. Although it was in the midst 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” (Welty 3).
Its inside was incomprehensible with all lots of smells coming out of it. This may be one of the reasons why the Eudora’s mother preferred to make orders outside the street and only sent her daughter to the store when she run out of stock. Apart from the smells, dust was all over; on the floor, shelves, and on most of the products.
To make it worse, the shelves were not properly arranged, Eudora notes that, “shelves climbed to high reach all the way around, set out not too much of any one thing but a lot of things” (Welty 4). It was easy to forget what one had gone to buy because he had to search from all the shelves.
To make sure that the children came back to the store, Mr. Sessions kept standing scales by the door where the children could check their weight at every visit to the store. He could even memorize what each weighed last time and tell them how much they had gained.
In this essay, I have attempted to give a general overview of the activities and the condition of the little store which contracts with the way of life of many families in Jackson. The little store is an example of what really goes on in many streets in which there live different kinds of people with different perceptions about life.
Even though the store was small and disorganized, it still served the purpose it had been set for although many adults preferred to send children to the store rather than go to it because of its condition. Even the family that lived in the store’s premises seemed to live their own life and they were never seen together.
Welty, Eudora. Modern Nonfiction; “The little store”.