ENG 125: Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Corey King
July 23, 2012
Theme of The Welcome Table
The short story I have chosen to write about is "The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker. The story speaks about an elderly African American woman that walked quite a distance to a church for the purpose of praising and worshiping her lord and savior Jesus Christ. She is unwelcome by the members of this congregation simply because of the color of her skin. She is stared at by the white parishioners; asked to leave the church by the pastor and an usher, and ultimately tossed out by force and still none of that fazed the old woman because of her faith. The story also confronts the racial tension between blacks and whites during that time. The theme of this story is religion because as stated in the reading “the theme tells you what the story is about” (Clugston, 2010). The woman has been tested throughout her life and she has survived many trials and tribulations, yet she never lost faith and continued on her quest to finally meet her maker. A symbol in literature is used to express a meaning opposite to its standard meaning (Clugston, 2010) and this story is filled with symbolisms. An example of symbolism can be identified from the very beginning of the story; the desires of the old woman is clear she want to “ sit at the Welcome table, shout her troubles over, walk and talk with Jesus, and tell God how you treat me” (Clugston, 2010) she is ready for this journey to come to an end. “There was a dazed and sleepy look in her aged blue-brown eyes” (Clugston, 2010) the blue in this sentence symbolizes the peace the woman felt due to her faith. Another great example was in this passage “and so the gazed nakedly upon their own fear transferred; a fear of the black and the old, a terror of the unknown as well as of the deeply known” (Clugston, 2010). The word black in this passage is not only in reference the old woman’s...