Katherine Anne Porter the Life essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

In 1930, she published her first short story anthology, Flowering Judas and Other Stories, which was highly praised by critics. Flowering Judas is the story of young American woman during the Marxist Revolution in Mexico, who advances the cause of Marxism and helps the political prisoners, but becomes disillusioned while doing so. It is the story of a woman who can't make a real commitment to life. The story ends with a nightmare, in which the woman eats the blossoms of a Judas tree, betraying herself and her cause. Porter once said that this was her favorite story.

Porter remarried in 1926 to a man named Ernest Stock, but her marriage only lasted a year. Between the years of 1910 and 1926, she suffered numerous miscarriages and a stillbirth. After Stock affected her with gonorrhea, she had a hysterectomy in 1927.

Porter never became a mother. This operation was something that Porter tried to hide, assuring her subsequent husbands and friends that she could bear children, "even going so far as to purchase monthly hygienic paraphernalia (Unrue, 2005)."

In 1930, Porter married Eugene Pressley, a young writer, in Europe. She later divorced him and married Albert Russel Erskine, a graduate student who was 20 years her junior. They divorced in 1942, and she never married again.

Porter spent the rest of her life writing and rebelling against totalitarianism, and the anti-Communist crusade of Senator Joseph McCarthy. She was also a mentor to fellow writers, including Eudora Welty, Eleanor Clark, and Peter Taylor.

Porter published a novel, Ship of Fools, in 1962, after working on it for three decades. This story is about a group of characters, who sailed from Mexico to Germany aboard a mixed freighter and passenger ship. This book attacked the weakness of a society that could allow for the Second World War (PBS, 2007).

In 1966, Porter was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Maryland. According to Wilson (1998): "Porter was not able to come to the University of Maryland to receive the award because she was ill. The president of the university and his wife went to her house in Washington, D.C., to conduct the ceremony. They were native Texans and immediately hit if off with Porter."

Porter decided to build her personal library at the University of Maryland, which started with donations of some personal papers and now includes most of her works. In Texas, her childhood home was turned into a museum.

Porter received numerous awards, tributes and honorary degrees during the last years of her life. PBS (2007) described Porter as "a perfectionist concerned with controlling every word of her stories." Her stories addressed the themes of justice, betrayal, and the unforgiving nature of the human race, and occupied the space where the personal and political meet. She died in Silver Spring, Maryland, and her ashes are buried in Indian Creek, Texas near her mother's grave. The Letters of Katherine Anne Porter were published after her death.

Porter realized her dream, which was not to become a popular writer but rather to become a respected literary author. Unrue (2005) summed up the life and work of Katherine Anne Porter best in her description of the writer: "Her mastery of theme and gift for characterization were hers alone among the storywriters; even her shortest works were imbued with a richness of design, incident, and experience seldom found outside long novels," wrote Unrue. "Her ambition and her range of emotion and effect -- from cold realism to measureless compassion, from the plainspoken to the lyrical -- were unequaled in her time and have had few successors. She was, and is forever, an American original."


Flanders, Jane. (1979). Katherine Anne Porter's Feminist Criticism: Book Reviews from the 1920's. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 44-48: University of Nebraska Press.

Givner, Joan. (1982). Katherine Anne Porter: A Life. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

Liberman, Myron M. (1971). Katherine Anne Porter's Fiction. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

PBS. (2007). Katherine Anne Porter. Retrieved from the Internet at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/porter_k.html.…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Katherine Anne Porter The Life" (2008, October 28) Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/katherine-anne-porter-the-life-27259

"Katherine Anne Porter The Life" 28 October 2008. Web.23 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/katherine-anne-porter-the-life-27259>

"Katherine Anne Porter The Life", 28 October 2008, Accessed.23 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/katherine-anne-porter-the-life-27259

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Theft by Katherine Anne Porter the Setting

    Theft by Katherine Anne Porter The setting of the story "Theft" made by Miss Porter is the city New York. The character of the story is a writer and reviewer; such as Miss Porter and the time that has been defined in the tale is the beginning of the Great Depression of the l930s. The story that symbolizes all the property was the stolen reward, which was appropriately made of gold

  • South Katherine Anne Porter Flannery

    Both Mrs. Hopewell and her daughter Hulga are judgmental, but for different reasons. Mrs. Hopewell is middle class and has tenants on her farmland. She only wants "good country people" as tenants. In her estimation, "good country people" are stereotypically poor, "salt of the earth" types with no pretensions about them. They are not educated, but they do not behave in ways Mrs. Hopewell would find embarrassing. For this

  • Katherine Porter s The Grave Many

    In a sense, Paul buried it when he buried the rabbit. She will look back at that place and see it as a time when things shifted in her world. Miranda lost the tomboy little girl and exchanged her for a girl facing all the pains and pitfalls of adulthood. Again, it is impossible to find blame in this tale. Miranda wanted to see the bunnies as much as

  • Truman Capote the Life the

    I had to go into town on Saturdays to the dentist and I joined the Sunshine Club that was organized by the Mobile Press Register." He goes on to tell about entering a work of writing on the children's page publication, which he had called "Old Mr. Busybody." The first installment of his writing appeared in a Sunday edition under his real name, which was Truman Streckfus Persons. The

  • Faulkner s a Rose for Emily and Porter s the Jilting of Granny Weatherall...

    Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and Porter's "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall." Jilt can have particularly negative consequences on an individual who is left, considering that the respective person comes to consider that he or she is actually to blame for the fact that his or her lover did not share his or her feelings. The effects of jilting are reflected by the behavior of individuals like Emily in William Faulkner's

  • Faulkner s a Rose for Emily and Porter s the Jilting of Granny Weatherall...

    Armant S, Jr. Never-Ending Relationships Miss Emily Grierson in Faulkner's, "A Rose for Emily" and Granny Weatherall in Porter's, "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" are quite similar characters though they are set in different times and different places. The two characters from each respective story have some similarities between each other; however, the most notable is that they both have been "jilted" in love, and the rest of their lives have been impacted

  • Winter Dreams of F Scott Fitzgerald and

    Winter Dreams" of F. Scott Fitzgerald and "Flowering Judas of Katherine Anne Porter" Cool. Dispassionate. Masters of the art of literary artifice, lies, and characters who wear masks rather than their true selves. Although one author deploys an almost newspaper-like dispassionate style, and the other is more poetic in her use of the language, both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Katherine Anne Porter have been called by these appellations because of

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved