THE WELCOME TABLE
NOVEMBER, 24, 2013 INSTRUCTOR: RONALD SION
At its basic level, literary criticism, like all criticism, reflects personal preferences and emotional responses. It's an activity that requires looking back on a reading experience just as you would look back on a journey you've completed and analyzing what you gained from it. Your experience is the central focus. You are the one initiating this process; you are the critic. After you have absorbed a piece of literature (i.e., been open to it), you can no longer be neutral: you will either like or not like it. You will have an emotional response to it, since emotions are stimulated to some extent in every literary experience. Beyond that, you may sense that what you have read has value and application outside your own experience: its insight or knowledge, perhaps, should be broadly considered. So, to generalize, literary criticism is an informed response a person makes to literature after openly (imaginatively) experiencing it. The literary work I have chosen to analyze is “The Welcome Table” (Alice Walker, 1970). I have chosen the Formalist Approach in order to interpret, evaluate, and analyze this short story. What caught my interest in the setting is, it reminded me of a small white church my mother took us to when I was a child. It was an old country church on a dirt road. I remember as a child seeing women like “grandma” in our church. The only difference was our old black ladies never got escorted out into the cold. In our country church all were children of God. We did however have a few women like the “Leather bagged and shoed, with good calfskin gloves to keep out the cold” that perhaps looked as us the same way they looked at Grandma. I remember the look well, and we were white. This look should never be seem in the house of God, no matter the color of one’s skin. The description of...
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