March 27, 2012
The Quest to Walk and Talk with Jesus
Myth transcends time, bringing together the past and the present and reaching toward the future through spiritual aspirations. Although every culture has its own distinctive mythology, myths take their specific shapes from the cultural environments in which they grow. Myth is, in the general sense, universal. Furthermore, similar ideas or themes may be found among many different mythologies, and certain images that recur in the myths of peoples widely separated in time and place tend to have a common meaning and have a tendency to produce comparable psychological responses and to serve similar cultural functions. Such ideas and images are called archetypes. (Guerin, 1966) In the short story “The Welcome Table,” Alice Walker uses such archetypes to lay the groundwork to confront the tension between the racial and discriminatory attitudes of the church goers and the quest of the old woman to make peace with her spiritual maker. From the opening Spiritual, the reader is drawn into the quest of the old lady. Her desire to “walk and talk with Jesus” (as cited in Clugston, 2010, section 3.1) is an indicator of her desired journeys end. Using many metaphors, Walker describes the beginning of her long, lonely journey as a struggle. As an “old forgetful woman, nearly blind with age,” she was looking for relief. I could see the frailty of the woman as she made her way from her old home to the steps of the church, but also the determination to meet her Jesus as she “walked along the road in a stagger from her house a half mile away” dressed in “her Sunday-go-to meeting clothes.” (as cited in Clugston, 2010, section 3.1) Through her use of imagery, Walker paints the picture of a dark and miserable life. “She was angular and lean and the color of poor Georgia earth.” Her skin “ashen but durable, like the bark of old pines.”...