Role of Phoenix Jackson in a Worn Path
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.
The short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Márquez which is about a mysterious decaying angel who falls to earth and is kept in a backyard […]
“A very old man with enormous wings” is a short story by the Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is a teaching story about social values and human reaction to […]
A Crab, a Spider, and the Noisy Stars Above: An Analysis of the Magical Absurdity in Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” A multitude of literary devices can […]
Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” displays that we as a people persecute and torture the people who are different because we refuse to […]
Gabriel García Márquez was known for the way he would create vast woven plots and tightly knit narratives within his works. His world is mostly that of provincial Colombia, where […]
“…the exasperated and unhinged Elisenda shouted that it was awful living in that hell full of angels,” is a line that occurs toward the ending of “A Very Old Man […]
Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses imagery and symbolism throughout his entire short story from beginning to end. One of the most significant uses of symbolism in this text would be the […]
As the work of a regionalist writer, Jewett’s short story ‘A White Heron’ consists of symbols that reflect the impact which drastic changes in landscape have had on those who […]
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 […]
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 […]