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The Welcome Table

The Welcome Table

  • Submitted By: ekleine
  • Date Submitted: 05/29/2011 11:43 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 710
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 1876

The Welcome Table Analysis
Elizabeth Kleine
Eng 125: Introduction to Literature
Ben Barckholtz
May 15, 2011

The Welcome Table Analysis
Opening The Welcome Table (Walker, 1970) with a spiritual made me curious. Reading on, a vivid image of an old woman captures the imagination. She is old and almost blind. Through the image as described by Alice Walker, several things are learned about this woman’s health, attitude, and her perspective, including that this woman is dying. “She was angular and lean and the color of poor gray Georgia earth.” By the description “angular” the woman was thin. “The color of poor gray Georgia earth means that the old woman was ashen in color. People who are dying tend to turn gray. This reader has seen this in several people and animals. My dad was this color before he found out he had cancer and after the cancer was removed, his color returned to pink. My mother-in-law was this color right before she passed away, when she was on her deathbed. The dress described shows the readers how poor she is. While we don’t see that she is dirty, her clothes tell us that she is poor, yet she did her best to clean up and wear her ‘Sunday best’.
This reader finds satire in the fact that an old woman stopped in a church and gets thrown out by what should have been ‘good Christian people’. This could be because all the white people in this church feel uncomfortable by having someone of color among them or they feel this is ‘their’ church and shouldn’t be open to anyone else who isn’t like them. Maybe she had worked for them and knew their ‘secrets’. They could have been scared by what she would or could have said. “Her aged blue-brown eyes” tells us that she is partially white, which has made the other people in the church uncomfortable or ashamed of how the black people had been treated. They didn’t feel they could be their ‘best Christian’ selves if she remained in the church. This is why she was thrown out. It made the...

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