The Welcome Table by Alice Walker Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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Category: Literature

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The Welcome Table is a short story written by Alice Walker. It is written in third person point of view. The omniscient technique is used in this story and is particularly effective in allowing the reader to understand the old womans predicament and how she, and others, dealt with it (Clugston, 2010). In this essay, I will explain the meaning of this story as well as the realities to racism and hate.

The story begins by describing the elderly African-American woman. She was dressed in her Sunday church clothes that was old and falling apart. She had an old corsage pinned to her dress. The shoes she wore were high-heeled and polished. A silk scarf was used as a hair-band which was greasy from her oily pig-tails. Her aged eyes were blue-brown in color and were nearly blind. She was lean but old and wrinkled. Her skin was ashy.

After walking many miles, she came upon a church. It was a white peoples church. She had walked alone to the big church. After walking a half a mile to the church, she was sweaty and clammy. She stopped on the steps of the church to rest before going inside.

When she went into the church, the reverend stopped her. She brushed passed him and sat on the back bench. It was cold outside and near about just as cold inside the church. She sat there shivering from cold as everyone noticed as they went to sit up front. While everyone stared at her as if she was a piece of garbage, she sat there quietly. Some people spoke harsh words while others remained silent or felt sorry for her.

Her appearance made some of the white people think of cooks, maids, and mistresses. Other people saw jungle orgies or riotous anarchists looting and raping in the streets (Clugston, 2010). Many thought Christian worship and the Holy Church was going to end. They saw an invasion of their privacy to worship. It made them furious as she sat there ignoring them. The usher called her grandma and told her that she should leave but she told him politely to go away.

Finally, the white ladies made their husbands throw her out of the church. Could their husbands expect them to sit up in church with that? (Clugston, 2010). They referred to her as that as if she was an animal or trash. After getting her threw out of the church, the wives felt justified and the congregation started having church as they normally would.

Outside, on the church steps, the poor old woman looked around as if in shock. She went back to singing in her head as she was before they threw her out, but this time it was a sad song. As she looked down the highway, she saw something amazing coming towards her. The frail old lady began to laugh and jump in joy. She saw Jesus walking in her direction. She mentions that he looked exactly like a picture she had stolen from a white ladys Bible and hoped that he did not know she had stolen it. She waved her arms frantically, afraid that he might miss her. When Jesus got close to her, he asked her to follow me. As they walked, she told him past stories of her life and how she cooked, cleaned, and nursed the white people. She also told him of how they threw her from their church. As they were walking, she would sing from time to time. It seemed as if they were walking forever.

None of the church people knew what had become of the old lady until later when they heard that an old black lady was found dead on the side of the road. As she had walked along the highway, many people saw her talking and making hand movements as if she was talking to someone. But, being that they saw no one other than her, they thought she had lost her mind. What they did not see was that Jesus was leading one of his soldiers home and she was talking to him.

This story is a perfect example of racism and hate. It shows how many white people treated African-Americans. It is shocking to me that one human-being can treat another human-being with so much dislike and hatred. We are all Gods creatures and we should treat everyone with love as Jesus would.

Clugston, Wayne R. (2010). Journey into Literature. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Walker, A. (2003). THE WELCOME TABLE. Literary Cavalcade, 55(5),32.

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