Alice Walker's Writing Prowess Demonstrated in "The Welcome Table"

Alice Walker demonstrates her writing prowess by giving a vivid account of a geriatric woman's final days on earth. Through a brief poem in the tale, the author is able to grab readers' attention. The poem's five lines effectively communicate the meaning of the title. The engagement around the table where both positive and negative life experiences are shared is described in the title. (Clugston 37). The poem conveys a feeling of spiritual optimism for a future that has been revitalized by Christianity as a faith. The suggestion that God is the dinner's host exemplifies the faith. Critically, the author writes that people Christians need to walk and walk with Jesus Christ. This statement is reinforced by the assertion that it will happen "one of these days." The irony of it all is the fact that many Christians in the story are hateful and inhospitable as the depth of the story reveals (Walker, 21).

The Importance of African-American Characterization in "The Welcome Table"

"The Welcome Table" is created around the life of an African-American woman. The reason behind the use of African-American characterization is to highlight the various struggles and challenges that this group of people faces. Also, there is the issue of illogical biases of origin and racism. Over and above, it is imperative to look at the religious angle of the story. A critical reading of the story exposes the massive hypocrisy of Christians. As such, the story is a critique of Christian hypocrisy. The story also offers hope by projecting celebrations based on the hope derived from the faith in Jesus Christ in a world that appears to be so dismal. 'The Welcome Table" provided a clear description of the older woman. The author uses words such as old, worn, withered, wrinkled, aging, remnants, and ancient so as to give the impression of how the lady was (Walker, 42).

Symbolism and Archetypes in "The Welcome Table"

It suffices to point out that "The Welcome Table" has applied symbolism to give meaning through human collective conscious. The collective human consciousness is seen as universal conscious stipulating that each human being share throughout history shows itself via archetypes (Swanson 559). Worth noting is the fact that archetypes are innate predispositions allowing for experiencing and symbolizing some situations in a distinct manner. Human beings often draw an association between words and symbols hence creating a thought pattern which is then inherited from one generation to another. When readers look at literature critically, the manifestation of symbols begins to appear. Having said this, the mythological literature is thought to be deeply interwoven with symbols that are representative. In this regard, when viewing "The Welcome Table" with a critical eye, the inherent use of the archetypes is more evident.

The Symbolism of Poverty and Being Elderly in "The Welcome Table"

In the story, the archetypal comparison between poverty and being elderly is a symbol of loneliness, lack of hope, and misery. The elderly woman is described as beaten by the weather and severely overworked (Walker, 35). Amid all these sufferings, the elderly woman is hopeful that everything will be okay. The old woman has remained optimistic that the word of God will uplift every soul. The hope is anchored on the love of Jesus Christ. This is further expressed in the description of the shining cross that crowned the Savior. This is regardless of the dreariness of the depressing situation.

Critique of Christian Hypocrisy in "The Welcome Table"

The criticism of Christian hypocrisy is further captured following the description of atrocious actions, thoughts, and attitudes of the white church members who claim to be pious. According to the white people in the church, the old lady posed a threat to them despite the fact that she was harmless and forgetful. The elderly black woman is a symbol of the illogical dread of servitude, retribution from the existing and yet to be enacted laws that affect women, and evil negativity. It is evident that the ushers and the pastors refer to the older as "our family member" when they are uncompassionate (Walker 29). Indeed, this is an accurate reflection of what happens in real situations. The clergy assumes a "special" position in the church and disregards the call by Jesus Christ to be loving and caring.

The call to Reject Religious Piety without Compassion in "The Welcome Table"

Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity. As revealed in the Bible in the first four books of the New Testament, Christ lived a life full of forgiveness, gentleness, love, and kindness. Jesus Christ did not segregate people by age, wrongdoing, endowment, or gender among other social stratification (Clugston 24). In fact, He asked for forgiveness on behalf of those who put him to death saying that they never knew what they were doing. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ despised religious piety devoid of compassion and love. The religious class is depicted as being well off because they have "leather bags and shoes" yet they cannot even afford to treat the old woman with care and love as directed by Jesus. "The Welcome Table" offers an opportunity to dialogue on the challenges bedeviling Christians.

Works Cited

Clugston, R. W. "Journey into literature." San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from: https://content. ashford. edu (2010).

Swanson, David. "Fictional stories with ethical content: Guidelines for using stories to improve ethical behavior." Ethics & Behavior 26.7 (2016): 545-561.

Walker, Alice. "The Welcome Table." In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1973) (1993).

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