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The Ballad of the Sad Cafe
Transcript of The Ballad of the Sad Cafe
by Carson McCullers
A Study of Miss Amelia Evans
Miss Amelia Evans
Miss Amelia Evans was an interesting character both in personality and in physicality.
"She was a tall, dark woman with bones and muscles like a man" (McCullers 741).
She had short hair and her eyes were slightly crossed.
She was very masculine both in the way she dressed and the way she acted.
Before Cousin Lymon came along, she was a very solitary person.
Miss Amelia was very rich; she owned the "feed store" that everyone bought their feed from.
Before Cousin Lymon came to town, she was very private and reserved.
Once her "cousin" came to town, she took on a new role to take care of him.
As time went on, her whole demeanor changed.
She fell in love with the hunchback.
Do you think this was motherly or romantically?
She changed the store from a "hangout" to a cafe.
She was more generous and nicer to people around her.
A Sad Ending
Born in Columbus, GA
Devoted to music
Rheumatic fever caused her to have to take a step back from music and she started her writing career.
Married Reeves McCullers
She fell in love with another man named Annemarie Clarac-Schwarzenbach and divorced her husband.
Schwarzenbach didn't return her love so she married McCullers again.
There was much strain throughout their entire marriage.
She, like Miss Amelia, had problems within her marriage as well as being rejected by another man who didn't love her back.
She wrote "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" during the time of her marriage problems.
A Trouble and Unlikely Marriage
Miss Amelia was once married.
Marvin Macy was labeled as an "terrible character."
Marvin Macy was a terrible man who changed his ways to impress the Miss Amelia Evans, who was an unlikely match for him.
She married him, but wouldn't change her ways.
This distressed Marvin.
Trouble in the Home
Marvin Macy wanted Miss Amelia to love him back.
When he only touched her shoulder because he wanted to talk, she punched him.
From this point on, she hit him all the time.
She finally banned him from her property.
This was in a span of ten days
He left town and went back to his old tendencies, but much worse.
He was thrown into the jail.
How do you think this marriage affected her if at all
Why do you think she married him?
Miss Amelia's Downfall
Marvin Macy returns to town
Cousin Lymon immediately begins obsessing over him.
Miss Amelia is jealous and her whole demeanor changes.
She seems scared.
A Big Fight
Tension between Miss Amelia and Marvin Macy
They finally decide to fight
Miss Amelia has the upper hand and is about to win the fight.
Cousin Lymon jumps on top of Miss Amelia allowing Marvin Macy to win the fight.
Miss Amelia is defeated both physically and mentally.
We travel back to the beginning of the story and see the cafe as a rundown house.
"...sometimes in the late afternoon when the heat is at its worst a hand will slowly open the shutter and a face will look down on the town. It is a face like the terrible dim faces known in dreams-sexless and white, with two gray crossed eyes..." (McCullers 740)
How would the story be different without Miss Amelia?
Obviously the story is centered around Miss Amelia, so the story would be at a complete loss. I think that if she were portrayed as more of a feminine character, the story would be totally different.
What do you think?
What do you think of Miss Amelia's character?
Do you think that she is as "tough" as she seems or do you think it is a cover up for her hurt inside?
Why do you think that Amelia's character totally changed after Cousin Lymon left her?