Alice Walker: the Welcome Table

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The Welcome Table

Eng. Literature 125
Instructor Garcia
January 16, 2013

Through literature we are able to learn about different meanings and other human experiences. “Literature influences each individual differently” (Clugston, 2010). In Alice Walker’s short story The Welcome Table, it allowed the readers to read and learn about how, and what life was like for an elderly black lady during the 1960s. During these times blacks were discriminated against and the cruel treatment that they endured as human beings was unnatural and unheard of to us in this day and time. In this short story by Ms. Walker, it portrays to the readers how during this time period the African Americans were treated. The reason that this story caught my attention was due to the fact that the elderly lady that is portrayed in the story was so cruelly discriminated against for entering a white church.

As you read this story, one cannot help but be intrigued by how the story speaks about the elderly lady and how she has lived her life and had been treated her whole life. Alice Walker starts the story off with the woman getting ready to attend church and the clothes that she is dressed in, you knew she had no money. “The old woman stood with eyes uplifted in her Sunday~GO~TO~ meeting clothes: high shoes polished about the tops and toes, a long rusty dress adorned with an old corsage, long corsage, long withered, and the remnants of an elegant silk scarf as headrag stained with grease from the any oily ponytails underneath.” (Walker,1967) This poor lady had lived a hard life and it showed on her face and body, so you could tell she knew suffering. The story tells us that this old lady stumbles into an all white church from the freezing cold. The poor white people just stared at her in pure disbelief as though she had committed a crime for entering their church. In the reading it stated “And so they gazed nakedly upon their own fear transferred; a fear of the black and the old, a...
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