A visit of charity Essays

A visit of charity Essays

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A Visit of Charity
In the short story of "A Visit of Charity" by Eudora Welty, a fourteen-year-old girl visits two women in a home for the elderly to bring them a plant and to earn points for Campfire Girls. Welty implies through this story that neither the society that supports the home nor the girl, Marian, knows the meaning of the word "charity." Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines "charity" as "the love of man for his fellow men: an act of good will or affection." But instead of love, good will, and affection, self-interest, insensitivity, and dehumanization prevail in this story. Welty's description of the setting and her portrayal of Marian dramatize the theme that people's selfishness and insensitivity can blind them to the humanity and needs of others.

Many features of the setting, a winter's day at a home for elderly women, suggest coldness, neglect, and dehumanization. Instead of evergreens or other vegetation that might lend softness or beauty to the place, the city has landscaped it with "prickly dark shrubs." Behind the shrubs the whitewashed walls of the Old Ladies' Home reflect "the winter sunlight like a block of ice." Welty also implies that the cold appearance of the nurse is due to the coolness in the building as well as to the stark, impersonal, white uniform she is wearing. Perhaps the clearest evidence of dehumanization is the small, crowded rooms, each inhabited by two older wom...

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