Literary Analysis The Welcome Table Essay examples

Submitted By pookiepoo2004
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Alice Walker's literary work, The Welcome Table (as cited in Clugston, 2014), contain many literary elements that contribute to the short stories theme. According to Journey into Literature (Clugston, 2014), Walker's work is known to be centered around "Issues of race and gender" (Clugston, 2014). In her short story The Welcome Table (as cited in Clugston, 2014), she keeps to the theme of centering her story around the issue of discrimination, but includes the strength of faith as well. The use of the literary elements, tone and point of view, and how they contribute to the theme of this story are the focus of this essay. The tone of The Welcome Table contains drama and irony. Walker's use of third-person omniscient as the point of view, really enhances the drama and irony within this story. The use of third-person in this story gives “an all-knowing point of view” (Clugston, 2014). I believe this point of view allowed Walker to add more imagery to the story which made the story become more vivid. The main character of this story is a little old woman dressed in her "Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes" (as cited in Clugston, 2014). The reader quickly learns from the thoughts of the others that the lady is black and she is standing "on the church steps" (as cited in Clugston, 2014). As the narrator describes the how the old woman looked to the white congregation, it paints a vivid picture of her having skin "the color of poor gray Georgia earth" and "the missing buttons down the front of her mildewed dress"(as cited in Clugston, 2014). The thoughts of the congregation creates drama by sharing the fear they felt just from the old woman's presence during their "Christian worship" (as cited in Clugston, 2014). This "fear of the black and the old" and how some of the congregation saw "cooks, chauffeurs, maids, mistresses, children denied or smothered" as they looked upon the old woman, brings the issue of discrimination to the fore front. This is also where the ironic twist enters the story. Being that this is taking place within a Christian church, it is ironic how the congregation treats the old woman just based on the color of her skin. Margaret Bauer (1992) writes "in Walker's story the strength of the old woman's faith, indicated by her ability to see Christ, adds irony to her being considered unworthy of attending any Christian church." The old lady was told to "Go 'way" and then finally physically thrown out of the Church in the cold, out of fear that the old woman presence would be a "desecration of Holy Church" and "invasion of privacy" (as cited in Clugston, 2014). Christian values teach of loving one another, kindness, and love. The old woman was shown none of these things and was shown the complete opposite of these values. The old woman's strength of…