A Visit of Charity by Eudora Welty

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What are the themes, conflicts, and symbols of the short story "A Visit of Charity" by Eudora Welty?

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bbtrees eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The theme of the story is shown by the irony in the title. Marion's visit derives from selfishness, not from charity. True charity comes from within, and her childish ambition is totally at odds with generosity of spirit.

The central conflict is internal to the girl, who does try to get past her negative feelings toward old age and the home, but fails. While in some ways the old women are interchangeable to her, each one she meets seems worse than the last. Addie's monologue so unnerves her that she gives up and flees.

The apple and the plant are two symbols. The apple, actual food, is a symbol of her selfishness. She hides it and reserves it for herself rather than giving it, or any food or real sustenance, to the old women. The plant symbolizes her insincerity, as she gives something that is not truly alive, has no value to her, and offers no spiritual nourishment.

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mitchrich4199 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I am not familiar with this story, but enotes has a page on it that will help you.

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