"A visit of Charity" by Eudora Welty

Essay by frankyjb04High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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In the short story, "A visit of Charity" by Eudora Welty, a fourteen -year old Campfire girl whose name is Marian, visits an elderly home to earn points. The way Marian slowly makes her way from the bus stop to the nursing home shows reluctance. The author's purpose was to describe a young child's experience with the elderly through emotions and descriptions of her actions. The author encloses several lurid details to help the readers understand how awful this experience was for the child. The title contradicts the meaning of the story, charity means generosity or kindness towards others, and no one in this story carries that out. People's selfishness and insensitivity can blind them from humanity and the needs of others.

The setting is a winter's day at a home for elderly women. Outside of the home, there are "prickly dark shrubs with which the city had beautified the home".

These surroundings imply coldness, and abandonment. The ambiance points to the feeling of fear. The floors inside the building illustrate the awkwardness. The room that Marian ends up visiting is dark, the shade is drawn, and excess amounts of furniture. The wet smell of everything and the wet appearance of the bare floor imply that the cramped room is a more suitable for barn animals rather than humans. Marian compares the room to a robbers cave and the two women as the robbers. The setting of a story assists in painting a mental picture, which draws the reader into the story. (42)

Characters bring a story to life; they help the reader connect with the story and its surroundings. The story begins with the young girl who is fearful of the home. The story leads the reader to believe that Marian is the protagonist, and the elderly...