A Visit of Charity by Eudora Welty

By reading the story “A Visit of Charity” by Eudora Welty, one can only see that there isn’t any type of charity going on. The biblical illusion seems to resonate throughout this entire story. In the story, Marian, is a fourteen year old girl scout, trying to earn some points. Marian first gets off the bus, reluctantly, slowly, and methodically. The reader can feel her reluctance, haste, and disrespect towards the elderly before she even opens up the door.

Describing the home as “whitewashed brick reflected in winter sunlight like a block of ice.” Marian implies the building itself as cold, even the way it looks from the outside. She is even inconvenienced by the weight of the door. The old woman, Addie, is constantly referred to as a sheep or a little lamb.

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When you look at the life Jesus led, he “fed his sheep.” He took care of his people, young and old, by meeting their spiritual and physical needs. In the Gospel of John, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him.

When Peter replies that he does, Jesus says, “feed my sheep.” Addie is in desperate need of love and affection. She cries when Marian asks her how old she is. The story makes you wonder why she cries, is it the lack of love? Is it because a stranger is asking her? Or is it the inevitable feeling of sorrow about being old and alone with no one there to love and to care for her. Marian, at this point, has second thoughts about caring about this poor old woman Addie. But Marian could not make the sacrifice.

She is selfish. She does not give Addie the attention or affection that she so craves and needs as a human being. At the same point, Peter was devoted to Jesus but he also struggled with his self-will and giving it up fully to Christ. In this story Marian is not ready to lay down her rights, she is not willing to give herself whole heartedly to these elderly ladies by showing them any type of love or affection, or even just sharing the apple with t.