Book Analysis: The Welcome Table

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The Welcome Table by Alice Walker
Melissa English
ENG125
Instructor Abby Forster
January 14, 2013

The Welcome Table

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 woman’s 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 people’s 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....
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