A Worn Path

Summary And Analysis Of Eudora Welty’s Story “A Worn Path”

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

The story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty tells the account of Phoenix Jackson, to a great degree matured African American lady who lived in the Mississippi. Phoenix Jackson was described as a raggedy old woman. The scene began with Ms. Jackson taking her long journey into town and she was wearing her typical wardrobe, an apron made of sugar sacks, a red bandanna, the stick of an umbrella as her cane, and her shoe strings untied. With the description given from the first couple paragraphs readers perception of this African American lady is old, poor, or lost. The author does not disclose where the Phoenix is going exactly because she all she says is “I got a long way”. Phoenix lives in a calm provincial territory with her unrivaled grandson, whom she nurtures. Two years prior her grandson gulped lye and his throat presently can’t seem to mend. This torment sends dear old Phoenix out to the nation into town to see the specialist to ask about getting some all the more mitigating pharmaceutical to encourage the recuperating procedure.

Amid this specific adventure, she experiences many hindrances, genuine hardships, allurements, falsehoods, hostility and prejudice. Through every one of these difficulties, Phoenix still needed to proceed down this well used way perceiving the duty to tend to her grandson and defeat any hindrances to ensure her heritage lives on through him. Amid these years, Phoenix confronted the reality of living in neediness. As per Welty, she was in all probability conceived in neediness and lived in this hardship every last bit of her life, The red clothes she wore, old blanched cover, and the long dark striped dress that contacted her toes demonstrated an essentialness. Of all the cunning stories composed by Eudora Welty over the past 50 years, it is maybe a worn path that is most charming as far as its capacity to oppose basic clarification. the entire story is suggestive of a religious journey while the conclusion infers that the arrival trek will resemble the voyage of the magi with Phoenix following a star to convey a blessing to the youngster. Indeed the story is in some sense to utilize Isaac’s assertion suggestive of a religious mission. The story starts prominently on a cool December morning and similarly as fast we are made mindful that there is an old dark lady going along a way through the pinewoods.

We watch her as she arranges a progression of obstructions in that wild on her approach to Natchez Mississippi probably to get some drug for her grandson who as per the medical attendants count close to the stories end had gulped a specific measure of lye a few years sooner. explaining further on the scriptural examination of Isaacs. In landing at his decision he legitimately draws on the Egyptian legend of the Phoenix. One would be neglectful not to do as such in light of the heroes first name however though Bartel is by one means or another ready to see the Phoenix as characteristic of Phoenix Jackson’s extreme destruction it is more suitable to recall the phoenix legend has its source in a zone of the world known as the support of development and furthermore most proper to consider that Welty may expect for us to join the legend with her story to uncover a procedure that goes ahead into vastness. The encyclopedia Britannica depicts the Phoenix as a marvelous winged animal or bird associated with the love of the sun particularly in old Egypt and in established vestige. It was known to Hesiod and depictions of its appearance and conduct happen in antiquated writing sporadically with varieties in detail from Herodotus record of Egypt ahead. The phoenix is said to be as expansive as a hawk with splendid red and gold plumage and a musical cry. Just a single phoenix exists whenever. It is enduring; no old specialist gives it a life expectancy of under 500 years; some say it lives for a long time an Egyptian Sothic period an extraordinary gauge is 97. As its end approaches the phoenix molds a home of fragrant limbs and flavors set it ablaze and is devoured in the flares. From this fire supernaturally springs another phoenix.

In conclusion the phoenix is a legendary winged creature that reuses its own particular life. when it sees its approaching demise the phoenix touches off itself into a wonderful fire. in time it reemerges from its own particular fiery debris reawakened restored and especially alive interesting animals phoenixes. They can convey colossally overwhelming burdens their tears have mending forces and they make very unwavering pets. Phoenix tears have huge recuperating powers. It is the main known solution for basilisk venom, this older woman was a reincarnation of a phoenix. Nothing could stop the phoenix from getting the medicine for her grandson and just to show how brave and fearless she just is the Phoenix stops at a store near the doctor’s office to pick up a windmill toy for her grandson just before she head on her way back to her grandson.

Read more

A Dynamic Character Of Phoenix Jackson in a Worn Path

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

That cold forest has never met a woman the likes of Phoenix Jackson. Strong willed and steady paced she treks through the woods without a care. The age of this woman has taken its toll but it has made her the person she is. Her goal is to get to the market and no act of man will stop many may realize.

The humor in Phoenix’s story is not misplaced but modifies her strong will that Welty created. The perfect example of this would be right near the beginning of the story:

Now and then there was a quivering in the thicket. Old Phoenix said, “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals!…Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites….Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don’t let none of those come running up my direction. I got a long way.”Under her small black-freckled hand her cane, limber as a buggy whip, would switch the brush as if to rouse up any hiding things. (92)

Although it is just a sign of her age, this causes her to be a dynamic character in any story. Phoenix sticks out in readers minds by having her own identity.

Although Phoenix is not relatable to a college student, she is a reminder of a grandparent or even great-grandparent. Phoenix has faced many trials in her life much like a grandparent. The facts of her past are never made known to the audience, but whatever happened has changed her view on her own life. The hunter, who is very rude, threatens Phoenix with her life and she does not even flinch.

…he laughed and his gun lifted and pointed it at Phoenix.

She stood straight and faced him.

“Doesn’t the gun scare you?” he said, still pointing

“No, sir, I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done,” she said, holding utterly still. (94)

Phoenix almost sends a chill down the spine not caring about her life.

The final piece to Phoenix’s character is that of her sympathy and caring heart. The story revolves around her in the forest but concludes with the discussion about her sick grandson. Phoenix’s grandson is apparently extremely ill and Phoenix is the sole caretaker for the young boy. It is rare that a woman of Phoenix’s age would have to take care of a child but even she knows that there is a reason that the grandson is with her. Her own standing goes out the window, and the boy’s becomes the priority.

Welty understood what this story needed to be memorable and created it inside of phoenix Jackson. Although slightly insane, Phoenix keeps her composure throughout the story. Phoenix Jackson is not a saint but she is not closed off either. Her style and movement throughout the story paint an image which makes her a dynamic character.

Read more

Importance Of Determination in a Worn Path Novel

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

The short story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty is a tale of a Phoenix Jacksons journey through the woods to get into town. The story is about an elderly African American woman who is in desperate need to obtain medicine for her very sickly grandchild. During Phoenix’s journey, she encounters many obstacles along the way but still she continues to overcome and pulls her way through. Throughout the story the theme is shown in her character and the obstacles she faces. The obstacles involve self-sacrifice, pride, determination, perseverance, and trials and tribulation. The themes that are shown are from what she encounters throughout Phoenix’s journey.

Welty begins the story with her first obstacle which is “the worn path” and journey itself for the reason that she has poor vision, walks with a cane and is in no condition to climb a hill and cross a river. Even though Phoenix is aware of all of her health complications she has, that doesn’t stop her from her goal. “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles…Keep the big wild hogs out of my path, Don’t let none of those…” (Welty 92) Phoenix pushes through the path that can cause danger to her with perseverance. She values her responsibility and obligation for her grandson; she builds up courage and inner strength in order to reach her goal. Nevertheless, her strong desire to complete her responsibility for grandson keeps her continuing the journey and she doesn’t think of giving up.

The second obstacle appears when she meets a racist white hunter. As a racist, he looks down on her and even mocks her by saying “I know you old colored people! Wouldn’t miss going to town to see Santa Claus!” (Welty 94)Phoenix keeps her thoughts to herself and pays her disrespect back by ignoring him. When she ignores the hunter, that shows her inner strength and determination, she is too focused and motivated to have a pointless argument. She has way more important things to worry about than to stop, time is of the essence. Also, by picking up hunter’s nickel that fell to the ground, she pays his rudeness back without responding to his valueless conversation. In fact, her most danger encounters is when the hunter “lifted his gun and pointed it at Phoenix (Welty 94).” At the moment she could’ve panicked and made the situation worst but instead she showed the hunter fearlessness. Phoenix has an outcome of shocking the hunter, showing her inner strength. Even though she encounters withstanding discouragement when the hunter tries to convince her how far town is away and to return home, she still continues to strive to reach the end of her path.

Phoenix finally gets over her barriers, she finally arrives to the hospital to get the medicine for he grandchild. Through all of her trials and tribulations she has almost made it near to her accomplishment. Regardless of what the nurses, doctors, or what people may say about her grandsons health not making progression , her duty is to get his medicine. Her continuous dedication only shows how much she loves her grandson and how much she wants him to get well, her returning the medicine on time is her only choice. Phoenix gets her inner strength from her grandson. He also gives her the motivation that she needs to help strengthen her to reach her ultimate goal.

A result, she achieves her goal, which is to get a cure for her ill grandson. Phoenix’s decision of not giving up on her long adventure, even at the face of obstacles, shows how wisely she endures for her goal and overcomes the obstacles. Phoenix’s reaction to the obstacles of her journey shows her inner strength as she overcomes each obstruction to her goal. The author Welty continues to emphasize on Phoenix’s determination, strive and goal from the beginning to end.

Read more

Main Themes in a Worn Path Book

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Love Conquers All

In A Worn Path Eudora Weltys plot is not all that clear in the beginning of her short story, but progresses as her character carries on against all of the overwhelming forces against her. In this short story a black elderly woman, Phoenix Jackson, must overcome the odds against her as she valiantly travels through many obstacles in order to contribute to the wellness of her grandson, for whom she is making this trip down a worn path. It is at this point that all of Weltys readers hearts open up to this poor, elderly woman as she makes an attempt to carry on her love for her grandson by taking a long journey down a familiar path in order to get medication that seems to help ease his sickness pains. However, there are many forces against Phoenix that Welty includes in her story in order to make Phoenixs adventure end in a victory. Poverty, old age, and her journey through the woods are all of the odds which Phoenix must overcome.

Poverty is a major hardship that most of us will never have to face, but in Phoenixs case, poverty is present everyday in her and her grandsons life. Since she is in this state of poverty, Phoenix is not able to enjoy lifes luxuries as others do and must make do with what she can. As she begins her journey, it becomes clear that she lacks the money to pay for transportation to and from town; therefore, she starts down her path carrying a thin, small cane made from an umbrella (132). Although Welty never really emphasizes what this is used for the reader can assume that she uses it because she does not have the money to buy the actual cane needed to help her walk properly. Another conflict dealing with poverty arouses when she feels it necessary to steal from a hunter she encounters in the woods. While the hunter walks away her sneaky fingers slid down and along the ground under the piece of money with grace and care they would have in lifting an egg from under a setting hen (134). Here Welty shows that Phoenix must do what she has to in order to survive. Even though it may not appear right, her poverty forces her to act in a way that she only knows best. For instance, when people have a barrier separating them between something they want, they are going to do what they can to achieve their goal no matter what stands in their way. In this case Phoenix is a poor woman and the money catches her eye. Acting on her instinct, she takes what is not hers and hopes that she can get away with it.

However, because of her perseverance and determination to better the health of her grandson, Phoenix journeys into town to receive charity that the doctors office provides her. This soothing medicine they give her is the reason why she makes this trip in the first place (136). However, she is looked upon as a charity case since she has no money to pay for the medication he needs and is given the medicine for free. All of these examples that Welty has described in A Worn Path allow her story to develop by making readers think about what she writes. Poverty is an important issue in todays society and it makes one think of all the fortunes they have. In this sense, Welty also makes one fear poverty by the way she addresses it. The images allow one to feel Phoenixs pain that comes along with poverty. Joyce Carol Oates backs up this statement by adding that by disciplining her [Weltys] vision in order to gain deeper penetration into the dark and lovely realities of the lonely human spirit and shaping her fiction so that each story should be something achieved… (362). Oates simply means that Welty goes beyond normal realities in order to grab the readers attention. Through poverty, Welty takes a worldwide problem and stretches it to a level in which the person reading her story feels saddened by the power she displays. To be old, poor, and a surrogate mother is a hard job, and Welty does a wonderful job of portraying this through the underlying problem of poverty.

Another overpowering element in A Worn Path is Phoenixs age. Welty writes that she has numberless branching wrinkles which illustrates that she has many years behind her (132). It is here that Welty begins painting a portrait in which the reader can envision scenes from her story. Because of her old age, Phoenix lets her feet do the walking while her mind runs free and wild. This is where her age seems as though it is a constant problem. As seen in the movies or in real life, old people often have a problem with keeping all of their thoughts straight. Not only is it dangerous, but it also adds to the flare of Weltys story. Now the odds have gone up against this poor, old woman. Welty carries on with this image of an old woman traveling a path as if she were sleep walking. But as she approaches the doctors office her feet knew to stop, and she appeared to have no recollection as to where she is going or what she is doing there (135). As she enters the office she stares off into space and for[gets] why[she] made [her] long trip (136). It seems that she has come all of this way and cannot remember a thing, except the daydreams she floated in and out of on her way there. However, one thing does stand out: the gold diploma seal in the doctors office (135). Here Welty allows Phoenix, an old woman, to recall the one thing that symbolizes something to her, a victory.

Phoenix may not recollect why she is there, but that certain document lets her know that she is where she needs to be. It also stands for a prize, her grandsons medicine. A good friend of Weltys adds that there are half-states, mixtures of dream and reality, or rapid shifts between the two worlds which are fact and fantasy (Vande Kieft 135). Ruth Vande Kieft also explains that A Worn Path is not the only story in which Weltys characters drift between dream and fantasy life (82-92). The odds against Phoenix are definitely taking their toll upon her. On an earlier page, 133, the author describes one of her movements relating to a baby. Is Welty trying to imply that Phoenix displays characteristics of a young child, not only in action but in thoughts as well? Some say that when someone becomes old, they start to revert back physically as well as mentally. As Welty shows the effects of old age, it is at this time that the conflicts become very apparent. This particular conflict is with herself. She is old and cannot stop the occurrences that take place to her body and mind as she grows older.

Another conflict that contributes to the plot is Phoenixs journey through the woods. An obvious factor is the trip to town. Since Phoenix lives out in the country, she must walk a far distance to encounter any kind of civilization. The title A Worn Path implies that Phoenix has made this journey many times. Here the reader gets the impression that these are her marks and that this path is worn because of her. As she walks through the dangerous terrain, Phoenix encounters a bush which fails to let her by: Thorns, you doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir (132). Welty describes this path that Phoenix chooses as a sort of obstacle course. She must stretch and shrink her body in order to get through the almost impassable obstacles. Even though the path may be worn, it is as if something is trying to hold her back. Maybe it is a way of telling her that her grandson may never get better and in actuality the medication she gets for him may not be working as it seems. Welty insinuates this by the conversation that takes place between the nurse and Phoenix. The nurse asks Phoenix if her grandson was any better since her last visit to the doctors office for medication (136). Now the reader can conclude that the medication may never cure him.

However, with her determination and motivation her feet keep on moving. Along with the thorny bushes, a barbed wire fence and a log over a creek put her in great danger, but Phoenix continues to proceed with her journey. After all of these setbacks, she then comes face to face with a white hunter. Welty uses this white hunter as a conflict because it is relevant to the time the story took place. The reader can assume from looking at the date above the story that this was a time which racism was a problem. Therefore, the hunter nags her a while then pulls his gun slowly up to her. Phoenix replies I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day… (135). What is exactly meant by this? One possibility may be that Phoenix feels the hunter caught her stealing.

Phoenix also gives the impression that she may have done this before and gotten caught. Why would Welty add this in her story? It can be assumed that the date again has strong significance. Well, the possibilities are endless. But, it is clearly seen that these encounters that she faces are not common in everyday life. What do all of these setbacks add to her story? They offer the end of the journey to be more courageous on Phoenixs part and they give the reader a sense of open-heartedness towards Weltys character. This journey through the woods shows Phoenixs love for her grandson. With all of the hardships on this journey love conquers all and Ruth Van Kieft states: There are no significant barriers to the expressive love of old Phoenix, and this is reflected also in her sense of familiarity with nature… (29). This familiarity allows the reader to feel that Weltys character has a deep love for nature. In the story, Welty includes many conversations with animals during her journey through the woods. Basically Weltys character appears comfortable with nature and does not see the journey as a burden, as does the reader, but as an adventure. Not only does her journey endanger her, but the fact that she is making this journey for the love of her grandson adds so much more to her effect of the story. Furthermore, these incidents indicate that Phoenix adapts to the dangers that face her, and allows the plot to then become clear.

Welty catches the readers attention by how real her short story seems. Even though many people may never experience Phoenixs problems, the descriptions and images she uses allows her to create a powerful story in which many feel they can relate to in some way. Her three major problems, poverty, old age, and some form of a journey, are all obstacles which all of her readers will one day face as they travel through their own paths.

Read more

A Look at the Usage of Figures Of Speech In, a Worn Path by Eudora Welty

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Eudora Welty’s subjective short story “A Worn Path” expands on the ideas on facing and overcoming adversity. Welty uses dialogue and figurative language to show how Phoenix Jackson is affected by and responds to standards within her society.

Through the use of dialogue, Welty illustrates how Phoenix responds to the standards set by society. She often pushes away the stigma that the elderly are weak, helpless, and need be safe at home. This is demonstrated when Phoenix is stopped by a hunter in the woods: “‘You must be a hundred years old and scared of nothing … but you take my advice and stay home, and nothing will happen to you’” (Welty 146). Given Phoenix’s age, the hunter tells Phoenix to head on home, but Phoenix refuses to turn back and continues her journey to town. Through her rough personality she is able to establish her own foundation in the path that she walks. Later, when Phoenix reaches the doctor’s office, she again faces opposition: “‘A charity case I suppose,’ said the attendant … Phoenix only looked above her head … ‘Speak up grandma,’ the woman said … Phoenix only gave a twitch to her face as if a fly were bothering her (147). The dialogue of the attendant is rude and unsavory, but Phoenix is able to combat the harsh judgement with a silent protest. By using dialogue, Welty establishes how Phoenix can disband societal rules.

Welty also shows how Phoenix responds to the standards expressed in her society through figurative language. Given the disrespectful nature of society and how they see the elderly, Phoenix has to respond to different situations in various ways. When Phoenix’s path was blocked she had to force her way under the tree: “there she had to creep and crawl … like a baby trying to climb the steps. But she talked loudly to herself: she could not let her dress be torn now” (143). Welty illustrates how Phoenix moved so delicately to avoid tearing her dress, and because of that the reader is able to see that Phoenix does feel like some of society’s rules must still be followed even though she is against the stereotype. Welty also uses figurative language to make situations more comical. Even though she is refusing societal standards of the elderly needing to be cared for, she reaches up for help when the hunter comes by: “‘What are you doing there?’ [the hunter asked]. ‘Lying on my back like a June-bug waiting to be turned over, mister,’ she said, reaching up her hand” (145). By describing Phoenix as a Junebug, Welty is able to establish how Phoenix is able to make light of her stumbles. She instinctively puts her hand out for help displaying how society has forced the ideas of the elderly needing help into habit. Although Phoenix is combating the ideals of society, she is unable to avoid the instinctive habits that she has grown so use to. Through the use of figurative language, Welty displays Phoenix’s dementia in a way that gives the reader insight to the life that Phoenix has lived with her disability and how it has made her a stronger person.

Through the use of dialogue and figurative language, Welty is able to show how and why Phoenix responds to various situations. With the help of dialogue and figurative language, Welty establishes the youth that Phoenix preserves and how she is affected by and responds to standards within her society. In the short story “A Worn Path,” Welty institutes how self-reliance can overcome society’s ideas regarding the roles of women.

Read more

Analysis Of A Worn Path Short Story

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

A Worn Path

During the time of slavery and the decades after, social class struggles were obvious and predominant. In a white world, African Americans struggled under great oppression and even after they were given freedom from slavery they were still held by the bondage of social status. Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path” gives a clear view of this bondage and shows the reader the hardships endured by African Americans even after they were made legally free. The lack of racial harmony is easily seen throughout the entirety of “A Worn Path,” especially as the old woman nears town, and Welty makes it a point to show how social status influences and effects Phoenix, the main character and subject of the short story, and the people that she encounters on her trip into town.

One of the largest social ranking points brought up within the story is that of white people, notably males, considering themselves better than the blacks. Knowledge of the time period allows us to understand that many whites thought of themselves as higher and mightier than black simply because they were white and had held control for such a long time. The white hunter that helps old Phoenix out of the ditch gives plenty of examples of this attitude held by the whites. One of the first things that he does upon helping her out and discovering where she is heading it put down her journey. He calls her out on it saying, “Why, that’s too far! That’s as far as I walk when I come out myself, and I get something for my trouble.” In this we see him being full of himself as a young white male and attempting to say that since he only goes that far that there is no way an old black woman could make the journey. This idea of whites being better than blacks simply because of their social status is seen again a few paragraphs later in Phoenix’s response to the white man after having a gun pointed at her. When he asks if she is afraid she simply replies, “No, sir, I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done.” Here we see that she has experienced similar things before, which shows the reader that it is not just this one hunter that holds himself as better than the blacks. His willingness, and the willingness of the others Phoenix hints at, to point a gun at a black woman without fear of the consequences does nothing but drive home the fact that white men truly did not fear the blacks because they considered themselves to be better than them.

Social status, along with causing whites to put themselves above blacks, also caused most of the white Americans to interact with African Americans in condescending ways. The first example of this comes when the young white hunter scoffs at the old woman’s insistence on heading into town. “I know you old colored people! Wouldn’t miss going to town to see Santa Claus!” he tells her with a laugh. He has no knowledge of her reasons for heading into town, but he stereotypes her and attempts to tear her spirits down with his tone and attitude. Since he believes himself to be better than her, he has no problem talking to her in such a rude tone. This same tone is seen again once Phoenix reaches the town when she first enters the “big building” and the attendant sees her. Without even asking what she is there for or who she is, the attendant comments, “A

charity case, I suppose.” This comment exemplifies the attitude that whites held towards African Americans. Since Welty has already shown the reader that whites believe themselves to be better than blacks, the comment of the attendant allows one to see just how much of a condescending tone whites used with their ‘inferiors.’ To them, an old black woman entering the building must certainly be nothing more than a poor elderly person coming looking for a handout or something similar. There is no sign that the attendant gave any real thought to the true needs of Phoenix.

Social class clearly plays a large role in this story, and one can understand its influence as one begins to understand the depth of the old woman’s poverty. When the attendant gives her a second nickel her exuberance is seen when she says that she is going to buy her grandson a present and that, “He going to find it hard to believe there such a thing in the world.” She is excited to bring her grandson a small present along with the medicine, and the fact that he will be amazed to see something so small helps one understand the poverty that the two of them live in. This poverty comes largely from their social standing as African Americans. Knowing a little bit of history it is easy to understand this poverty, as many African Americans still lived in excessive poverty even after “The Surrender” and their freedom from slavery. However, even without this knowledge, we can understand the poverty of Phoenix when she explains to the nurse that, “I never did go to school; I was too old at the Surrender.” This Surrender refers to the time when the last of the slaves became free, legal people living in America, and since she was too old to be allowed to go to school after the slaves had all been freed, she was never able to learn things necessary to getting a job or making a living for her and her grandson. Along with this, the two of them live alone off in the woods, and this alone stands to show their separation from the world of the white man and his riches.

The struggles of the old woman herself are clear throughout “A Worn Path,” and social structure clearly plays a massive role in her hardships, but Welty used more than just Phoenix and her encounters to give examples of the differences seen between where the whites and blacks sat on the social ladder. In fact, when one looks at the short story as a whole, it is clear that Welty intended for the entire journey to be a symbol in and of itself of the struggle blacks had with the social classes of the time period. The journey of Phoenix from her house to the town is a symbol of the long and hard path that African Americans had even after “The Surrender.” When Phoenix first begins her journey she comes to a hill where she says “Something always take a hold of me on this hill – pleads I should stay.” This hill is an example along Phoenix’s journey that symbolizes one of the many obstacles African Americans had to conquer on their path to racial freedom and social equality. Then, on her way down the other side, “a bush caught her dress.” She talks to the thorns saying, “You doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir.” The thorns are yet another example of people and social classes holding back Phoenix and other blacks from their full potential. As she continues her journey this idea of the story itself being on large symbol becomes more and more clear as Welty piles on more and more examples, such as the log across the creek and the dog knocking her into the ditch where she meets the white hunter.

Through knowledge of the history of the time period and reading through Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” a few times, it is easy to see the underlying themes of social differentiation and class ties and how they affected the African American population. Welty does a splendid job of weaving these themes into the short story, and this is done in such a way that one can clearly see how social classes affect the characters, their interactions, and the tale as a whole. Through the white hunter, the attendant in the “big building,” the immense poverty of Phoenix, and her journey as a whole, one can easily pick out social interactions of the time period. This piece was written in perfect harmony with the time period of discord it is associated with.

Read more

Role of Phoenix Jackson in a Worn Path

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

That cold forest has never met a woman the likes of Phoenix Jackson. Strong willed and steady paced she treks through the woods without a care. The age of this woman has taken its toll but it has made her the person she is. Her goal is to get to the market and no act of man will stop many may realize.

The humor in Phoenix’s story is not misplaced but modifies her strong will that Welty created. The perfect example of this would be right near the beginning of the story:

Now and then there was a quivering in the thicket. Old Phoenix said, “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals!…Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites….Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don’t let none of those come running up my direction. I got a long way.”Under her small black-freckled hand her cane, limber as a buggy whip, would switch the brush as if to rouse up any hiding things. (92)

Although it is just a sign of her age, this causes her to be a dynamic character in any story. Phoenix sticks out in readers minds by having her own identity.

Although Phoenix is not relatable to a college student, she is a reminder of a grandparent or even great-grandparent. Phoenix has faced many trials in her life much like a grandparent. The facts of her past are never made known to the audience, but whatever happened has changed her view on her own life. The hunter, who is very rude, threatens Phoenix with her life and she does not even flinch.

…he laughed and his gun lifted and pointed it at Phoenix.

She stood straight and faced him.

“Doesn’t the gun scare you?” he said, still pointing

“No, sir, I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done,”

she said, holding utterly still. (94)

Phoenix almost sends a chill down the spine not caring about her life.

The final piece to Phoenix’s character is that of her sympathy and caring heart. The story revolves around her in the forest but concludes with the discussion about her sick grandson. Phoenix’s grandson is apparently extremely ill and Phoenix is the sole caretaker for the young boy. It is rare that a woman of Phoenix’s age would have to take care of a child but even she knows that there is a reason that the grandson is with her. Her own standing goes out the window, and the boy’s becomes the priority.

Welty understood what this story needed to be memorable and created it inside of phoenix Jackson. Although slightly insane, Phoenix keeps her composure throughout the story. Phoenix Jackson is not a saint but she is not closed off either. Her style and movement throughout the story paint an image which makes her a dynamic character.

Read more

Review Of Eudora Welty’s A Worn Path

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

In Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” Phoenix age, low class living, well-being, and fearfulness are told through the details of her skin, her cane, the condition of her shoes, clothes, her health, her faith and determination as she ventures on her path to get medicine for her grandson who swallowed lye. The story is well told with characteristics from colors, to symbols, to perceptions, to objects, to drastic events that are both illustrated and perceptive, leading us to certain additional historical things of the story.

The colors are used to emphasize the depth and broad aspects of the story to tell us a journey taken by a poor black woman. The Phoenix can symbolize rebirth, beating life challenges from the ashes of the past, and victory of life over death. The Phoenix is the symbol that I think played a big factor in A Worn Path. It’s clear that Phoenix is up in age from the descriptions of the wrinkles on her face to the dirty worn out shoes on her feet. Also, the story mentions that she walks with a cane.

The cane can be described as a weapon against hazardous situations and nuisances she knows she will encounter on her way. Phoenix body is perceived as not the strongest old body a black poor woman could have but rather a weak one but still strong enough to venture on the journey. Phoenix body and mind – begs that she stop her path. Her perseverance is clearly sought out in the simple fact that she doesn’t quit. No matter what obstacle Phoenix came up upon she never deviated from her from her path.

The ending of the story is very interesting as not only does the reader become aware of Phoenix’s journey to help her grandson. It is through awareness that the reader realizes that Welty may be further discovering the theme of love. No matter the struggles that she has had to overcome. Phoenix has been selfless with her only goal being to help her grandson and get him the medicine he needs.

In conclusion, we have the idea of struggle, sacrifice, determination, perseverance, selflessness and love in Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”. Symbolism has great meaning and different themes that can relate in society today. The worn path is told in the story to show the trials and problems that can happen in everyday situations. Eudora made it clear that the story is all about looking past those fears and struggles and keep moving forward no matter how hard, scary or dangerous the situation is.

Read more

Eudora Welty’s Presentation of an Old Woman’s Experience as Depicted in Her Book, A Worn Path

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

A Long Image Filled Journey

The story “A Worn Path” is one filled with beautiful imagery of an old woman’s journey to get medicine for her grandson. Upon the first read the story seems relatively straightforward. The story doesn’t take upon a larger meaning until it is reread repeatedly, then things that someone may have never noticed initially start to come forward. Such as that the journey miss phoenix goes through to reach town may represent more then a long walk in the forest, this path may represent her life being a slave and her journey to freedom.

First Eudora Welty uses a thorn bush to form a giant metaphor for slavery and how it held down the people it held captive. Phoenix’s path begins simple enough but quickly into it an obstacle comes along that may very well relate to her life beforehand as a slave. This obstacle is the thorn bush, that she mistakes for just an ordinary bush, in her way and takes no precaution when passing through it. Soon she learns that the bush is filled with thorns and becomes entangled in its grasp. While trying to untangle herself she keeps on getting further trapped but is unwilling to rip her skirt to be free. The thorn bush and her entanglement in it represents her entrapment in slavery before she was freed. After all, as a slave she was caught in the grasp of its social standing that was forced upon her, and even if she did try to free herself from its grasp in any number of ways something else would come along and re-snag her. Just like with the thorn bush continuing to tangle in her skirt. Yet what’s most interesting about her interaction with the thorn bush is her unwillingness to tear her dress. Which may very well relate to her unwilling to bring great harm to herself to be freed from slavery. After all there were some slaves that would give their life for a taste of freedom, but Phoenix does not seem like the type. Instead she treasures her life and takes her time knowing eventually she will be free.

Then Welty uses the setting itself of a wire fence and some dark trees to create the image of slaves trapped within the grounds of their masters property. Phoenix must cross under the wire fence quickly in order to not get caught before coming upon a forest of dark trees and a vulture standing watch. Among the two the fence may have the more obvious connotation to Phoenix’s past as a slave. After all, if she did attempt to escape she would have to pass under fences and through harsh trails to eventually be free. And if she got caught she would be horribly punished just like she might be for crossing under a stranger’s fence if she was ever caught. Phoenix even mentions she might lose an arm or leg if she’s not careful and gets caught, which would most likely happen to some degree if she was caught trying to escape as a slave. Although it is not the fence alone in that moment that relates to her past. There is also the forest she sees once she is out from under the fence. Miss Phoenix describes the trees as “Big dead trees, like black men with one arm” (Welty, 315). These trees more than likely represent her fellow slaves and the description almost seems to bring images of black men worn down through time. Then there is the vulture siting upon one of the trees seeming to watch over everything. The vulture brings upon imagery of a warden of the slaves making sure none escape and go about their work with no delay.

Finally, through the characterization of a wild dog and a hunter on his way home from town Welty forms one of the biggest example that Phoenix’s path represents her past with slavery.. First there is the dog, he’s big, intimidating, and attacks Phoenix quickly upon meeting her. This dog also represents the institution of slavery and the slavers themselves. After all, just like the dog they knocked down many black people to a level where they weren’t even truly considered human. Then there is the hunter that helps Phoenix up, he’s strong, has a dog of his own, and may very well represent the American government. After all he helps miss Phoenix up which could represent the government giving slaves a chance of freedom. He also gets rid of the dog, well at least gets it to run away, which represents the government freeing the slaves. There is more to the hunter than just representing the government and aiding the slaves. After all the hunter himself has a dog of his own which may relate to the government using the aid of former slavers to help in keeping the freed slaves under a similar form of control as before. Then there is also the moment when Phoenix takes the coin the hunter dropped and afterwards mentions she has been punished for far less. Phoenix taking the coin dropped may not be a big deal by today’s standards, but after the slaves were freed they were often jailed for things that seem incredibly stupid by todays standards. Phoenix also probably knows that if she is caught the hunter is likely to harm her in some way due to stealing from him. Also, when Phoenix mentions she was punished for far less she likely wasn’t lying seeing as she was likely a slave when she was younger, and slaves could have been punished for almost anything depending upon the master.

In conclusion there are parts of Phoenix’s path that may very well relate to her time in slavery. Such as when she becomes entangled in the thorn bush. When she climbs under the fence and sees the field of big dark trees. Along with when she is attacked by the dog and the hunter saves them. Although all three of these points may seem simple upon looking deeper they have far more to say than what originally meets the eye.

Read more

Story Segmentation in a Worn Path by Eudora Welty

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

All stories can be segmented into beginning middle and an end. A worn path by Eudora Welty follows this pattern. In the beginning we meet phoenix as she makes her lonely journey encountering various obstacles in the natural world such as a steep hill, thorns which snag on her clothes, a log laid across a creek and a maze. The mood of the story changes somewhat with the introduction of the white hunter who helps her out of the ditch but who also points his gun in her face. We can identify the interactions with the hunter as indicating the middle of the story. Then at the end of the story, phoenix makes it to the city of Natchez and picks up her medicine from the clinic.

Segmenting the story in this way allows us to see the shape of the whole story at a glance. One of the aspects of the story we may perceive in this way is if that phoenix’s journey seems to take place in three stages and in each stage of her journey different kinds of challenges. At first phoenix faces the challenges of negotiating her way through the natural world. Then the introduction of the hunter presents her with the challenge of negotiating a world of other people. Then in the city she finds herself facing the challenges of society. In this way we can observe the levels of obstacles that Welty represents in the story and we see how the physical obstacles in the beginning of the story develop into the more complex kinds of obstacles such as racism, social stigma, and poverty described at the end of the story. The structure in a worn path we never see phoenix at rest, we never see her at home, she is always constantly on the move. Her whole story can be seen as one extended middle without a beginning or an ending. She is forever traveling, forever suspended in the air. Reading the story in this way emphasizes the open-ended quality of the story. The end of the story is not the end for phoenix as she still has to make the whole journey again in reverse for the return trip.

This whole journey itself furthermore is only one of many such journeys that phoenix has made in the past and that she will continue to make in the future. When we consider this aspect of the story, we may think of it as a story about time itself. The manner in which we all live in the flux of an extended middle. Of course phoenix’s name alludes to the mythical bird that lives through cycles of destruction and rebirth. The very first sentence sets the story in December, the end of one year and the beginning of the next. In the morning when time turns night it’ll turn over in today. Phoenix herself is described as a grandfather clock because of the way she walks hobbling between one heavy step and one light step. In this context, phoenix herself seems to partake in the natural cycles of day and night. The phases of the moon and she seasons as if she herself is a force of nature bound to a relentless orbit.

Phoenix also comes across as a human being. We had a said that a flat character is one that lacks complex motivations and phoenix might be considered as a flat character because all she seems to want throughout the story is to get the medicine for her grandson, but as we read the story more closely, her psychology appears to be more complex. “She received the nickel and then fished the other nickel out of her pocket and laid it besides the new one. She stared at her palm closely with her head on one side” one of the clues that phoenix is not a stereotypical grandmother figure. It’s her crafty steps of a nickel from the hunter. when she sees the coin fall out of the hunters pocket she cleverly sets two dogs against each other to distract the hunter so that she can carefully scoop the nickel up into her own pocket without her being observed. We know that stealing is wrong and we know that phoenix is supposed to be the protagonist so the reader has to invent a way of reconciling this apparent contradiction. Is it okay for phoenix to steal from the hunter because he is a bigot and deserves to get taken advantage of? Or does phoenix’s extreme poverty provide an excuse for her behavior? Or are we to think of phoenix as combining as both noble and ignoble qualities? This would be another way of saying that we are supposed to think of her as human, as a round character. Indeed at the very end of the story she tales this nickel out again and holds it against another nickel that she received from the attendant at the clinic. The two nickels, the one that she stolen, and the one she received by comparatively honest means seems to represent two sides of her character recalling the description of phoenix in the first paragraph as balance between heaviness and lightness.

Another conflict that helps to make phoenix a round character is that while she persists in her commitment to obtaining the medicine for her grandson. At several points in the story she seems tempted to give up the story journey altogether and just sink down into restful death. At one point sitting down to rest she has a dream vision of a little boy who brings her a piece of cake which she is happy to accept. This spectral vision seems to represent a fantasy of giving in to the temptation to stop the journey. Even more noticeable when a black dog knocks her into a ditch she lies down in the springy weeds and unable to extract herself seems resigned to remaining in this shallow grave indefinitely. It is dumb luck that the hunter comes along and helps her out but the suggestion remains that phoenix is so old and so weary that the prospect of dying on her journey is not altogether unpleasant. Indeed, the frequency with which dream images intrude into phoenix’s reality suggests that she exists in a kind of borderland between consciousness and sleep between life and death providing another frame of reference for that balance between heaviness and lightness said Welty she described in her initial description of her protagonist.

The setting of the story the American Deep South at some point in the first half of the 20th century obviously plays in an important role in the narrative. The disrespect shown toward phoenix by the hunter and by the attendance at the clinic is clearly intended to be understood within the context of Jim Crow era racial tension. While we can think of phoenix Jackson as a kind of eternal timeless pilgrim on a path between life and death. She is also a particular individual with a particular relationship to American history. We learned at the end of the story that phoenix never went to school because she was too old that “the surrender” meaning that when the south surrendered at the end of the civil war and the freed slaves were offered the opportunity to get an education. Phoenix was already beyond school-age. this revelation that phoenix spent the first two decades or so of her life as a slave has a chilling residence to her statement in paragraph five “seems like there us chains about my feet, time I get this far” literally phoenix is having a hard time getting up the hill and the difficulty of moving forward recalls the weight of leg irons but the discovery that phoenix was born a slave makes this passage more than a figurative speech, it connects her struggles on this journey to the struggles she has undergone her whole life as a victim of slavery. The path takes on another meaning at the difficult path of phoenix’s life.

The fact of the purpose of this journey is to obtain medicine for her grandson adds another dimension to the symbol of phoenix’s path of life. The ultimate goal of the journey of life is to nurture the next generation. The grandson suffers from the effects having swallowed lye a corrosive alkaline substance that can produce serious chemical burns. The medicine phoenix obtains may help the grandson throat to heal. It may help him recover his voice. Of course finding one’s voice is a potent metaphor for achieving a sense of empowerment and social justice. When we consider the thrilling oratory of this generation of African-American civil rights activists, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who would come to prominence in the 1950’s and 60’s we may perhaps conclude that Phoenix’s journey was not in vain she did in fact do her part to ensure that the next generation of African American’s would have a voice.

Read more
Order Creative Sample Now
Choose type of discipline
Choose academic level
  • High school
  • College
  • University
  • Masters
  • PhD
Deadline

Page count
1 pages
$ 10

Price