The theme of "The Welcome Table" is about an old lady who experiences prejudice and discrimination by attending a "white only" church only to be thrown out on the steps of the church by the male members to meet the Lord and Savior himself to personally take her "home". The theme also displays the arrogance of the younger generation who looked down on her because of her age and how they did not acknowledge her wisdom or the trial s and tribulations of what she had been through in her long hard life.
Two literary elements in the story that contribute to the theme are third person omniscient and tone. Third person omniscient is when the speaker is not a participant in the story. Omniscient is the point of view, meaning all-knowing, the external narrator who knows and relates thoughts and feelings of the characters. The second literary element is the tone. The tone is the attitude that is reflected by the author in a literary work. It identifies the author's approach to the subject a story deals with. Writers develop an ironic tone by creating a discrepancy or contradiction between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. There are two types of tones a story may have. Situation Irony, Verbal Irony. (Clugston 2010) Alice Walker uses Situation Irony in her short story.