A Visit of Charity

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Hope Biggs
Character Analysis Paper
Dr. Brookter
January 22, 2013
No Charity, No Change
Charity is defined as a voluntary giving of help and generosity especially towards the needy or suffering. This small simple word conveys a much bigger meaning, one of compassion and selflessness. In the story, “A Visit of Charity” the true act of charity seems to be missing. It is as if the main pieces of the puzzle are missing. The story has framework but lacks the compassion and selflessness needed to bring it to life. The reality is, charity never came to visit.

The story is about a young teenage girl, Marion, who in order to gain points for her Campfire Girl Club must visit the Old Ladies Home. By simply buying a potted plant and taking it to one of the residents, she gained three points but she can earn extra points for bringing her bible and reading it to the residents. Marion brings only a plant. (Welty 111)

“A Visit of Charity” begins by describing the cold winter day and a description of the nursing home, “a whitewashed brick and reflected the winter sunlight like a block of ice” (Welty 111). This description alone not only describes the buildings appearance but also is descriptive of the coldness and the lack of feeling for the elderly. Marion is no different. No thought was put into what might be helpful and useful for the residents, like toiletries, socks, or even food. Instead her only preparation for the visit was buying the potted plant. It is a clear indication of her selfishness and a reflection of a society that does not value its elderly. Her main concern is in getting points because she brings a potted plant. No real thought is put into who to give it to or who might actually enjoy it. She receives more than she gives and this reveals a true character flaw in Marion. Repeatedly in this story she reveals a selfishness and lack of connectivity to anything or anyone that does not benefit her. This is evident when Marion tells the...
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