The Welcome Table

Topics: Black people, Racism, White people Pages: 6 (2446 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Comparison of The Welcome Table & Country Lovers

Eng. Literature 125
Instructor Garcia
January 29, 2013

The Summary of “The Welcome Table & Country Lovers
Through literature we are able to learn about different meanings and other human experiences. “Literature influences each individual differently” (Clugston, 2010). In Alice Walker’s short story “The Welcome Table,” it allowed the readers to read and learn about how, and what life was like for an elderly black lady during the 1960s. During these times blacks were discriminated against and the cruel treatment that they endured as human beings was unnatural and unheard of to us in this day and time. In this short story by Walker, it portrays to the readers how during this time period the African Americans were treated. The reason that this story caught my attention was due to the fact that the elderly lady that is portrayed in the story was so cruelly discriminated against for entering a white church.

In the first part of the paper we discuss “The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker and further on in the paper we will compare this short story with Country Lovers written by Nadine Gordimer. In this short story, we will learn about how two people who loved each other were forbidden to be with each other because they were of a different race. We see how huge of issue racism was and still is in modern day times. As we read this story, one cannot help but be intrigued by how the story speaks about the elderly lady and how she has lived her life and had been treated her whole life. Both of these short stories are similar to each other because both women had to deal with racial discrimination and the difference between the two was that in Country Lovers, it was more about two people who loved each other and did not allow the color of their skin keep them from loving each other. These short stories help give the readers a look at how hard it was back in those days for people of color to live and survive because of the racial divide, as well as, the forbidden love affairs of blacks and whites. The Summary of The Welcome Table & Country Lovers

Alice Walker starts the story off with the woman getting ready to attend church and the clothes that she is dressed in; it was easy to know she had no money. “The old woman stood with eyes uplifted in her Sunday~GO~TO~ meeting clothes: high shoes polished about the tops and toes, a long rusty dress adorned with an old corsage, long corsage, long withered, and the remnants of an elegant silk scarf as headrag stained with grease from the any oily ponytails underneath”. (Walker,1967) This poor lady had lived a hard life and it showed on her face and body, so you could tell she knew suffering. The story tells us that this old lady stumbles into an all white church from the freezing cold. The poor white people just stared at her in pure disbelief as though she had committed a crime for entering their church. In the reading it stated “And so they 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) This shows from the sentence, the way the congregation looked at the elderly lady, they were afraid of African-Americans at this time period for no reason that they could even fully understand. They meaning the white community did not like blacks and they were treated unjustly at all times and any cost. The way that the black people were treated back in the 1960s and even before the 1960s was so evil and cruel. African Americans had no rights and could not find good paying jobs so that they could be respected just like the white man. To read a story like this; help’s its readers to understand the struggle and pain that the woman endured, as it was told by the narrator or persona of the reading. Some of the people felt as if the beginning of the end of worshipping of the Holy Church and as an invasion of their privacy. Many felt also...
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