Eng125 Introduction into Literature
Instructor Renee Gurley
January 13, 2013
“Acceptance. It is the true thing everyone longs for. The one thing everyone craves. To walk in a room and to be greeted by everyone with hugs and smiles. And in that small passing moment, you truly know you're loved, needed, and accepted” (Harmon, 2003-2004). This paper will discuss a literary piece called The Welcome Table by Alice Walker. This writing is about a journey a poor older black woman faces in light of racism and judgment from Christian churchgoers. Struggles of oneself and of society are brought to light with words and images from the life and mind of Alice Walker. The Welcome Table will be analyzed using a reader-response approach, and a historical approach. I connected with The Welcome Table through its intense story of struggle and hope, as well as very thought provoking because it intertwined the present with the past, reveals raw human impurity in the church, and gave insight to how this woman coped with injustice and how in the end, she prevailed. Upon reading this short story, I was touched in an impactful way because I have also felt the sting of a misinformed and judgmental world. Alice used tone to fire up my emotions, like the old black woman, I have also felt the sadness of being a shunned hurting outcast judged and removed. And like this black woman, I know the feeling of peace, love, and acceptance in the Lord. In addition, Alice used very descriptive words and image to paint a picture of this woman’s being and of the people and things that surrounded her. In using a reader-response approach, my feelings were heightened when the story spoke about the tattered old woman being boorishly and publicly removed from the church. I felt immense sadness and anger that people can be so shallow and hurt another human being, especially in a church setting. I longed to feel the excitement and...