Theme & Narrative Elements in the Short Story

Published: 2021-06-29 07:01:59
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Category: English

Type of paper: Essay

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The short story that I have decided to discuss my understanding of its literary themes and narrative elements is Alice Walker's "The Welcome Table". I learned through my text (Journey into Literature) that there can only be one theme but many symbols. The theme is not the plot of the story but it is associated with the idea that lies behind the story. The theme is a representation of the idea behind the story. (Clugston 2010) In this paper I will discuss what the theme is in Alice Walker's story as well as identify two literary elements that contribute to the theme by providing an example of each.
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.

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