Short Story Analysis of "The Welcome Table"

I chose to do my analysis of a short story I read in our textbook during week one.   The story I chose was by the author Alice Walker and is titled: “The Welcome Table”.   This story flared up a lot of emotion in me and I can relate the character to older ancestors that have passed away in my own family, as well as some that are living and tell similar stories as Alice has written.   This story is about finding sanctuary before death and finding peace at the end of a life of turmoil and strain. As humans, I think we all wonder what happens the few moments before death and those of us who believe in God wonder how we will be embraced by his Spirit.   This story defines that in a glimpse and gives the reassurance that no matter what our loved ones and ourselves face in life and no matter how heavy a burden we carry, on the day our life may end the heaviness will diminish and a higher power will validate us.

The theme of this story is seeking that validation and finding a place to rest our worries and burdens when our journey in life is ending.   At least for this particular character there was a strong need for her to be close to God so that she could feel loved and be assured that her life had not been in vain. She was waiting to die but wanting to be one with her higher power, her Lord.  

The author uses a lot of expression to paint the tone of the story and to describe the character.   Reading along, you can tell that this woman is nearing death just by subtle hints within the text.   The woman has physical characteristics of dying.   She appears to be dazed and sleepy, her face is shut down like an ancient door, she staggers to the church, her hands are restless.   The author writes that the old lady has ashen skin that is cold and clammy, her face is gray and she is bewildered.   The most significant signs of death being imminent are that the woman’s eyes are blue/brown and near blind. Being an African American I have seen this eye color in many of my relatives when...