Several details are given throughout Phoenix's trip without relevance to her destination. Every detail stands out because it is not known why Phoenix is traveling. This can lead to premature conclusions about Phoenix's goal. For example, she has concerns about her dress being torn, she has need to go under a barbed wire fence, and after the fence she sees “Big dead trees, like black men with one arm, were standing in the purple stalks of the withered cotton field” (1286). These details could lead to speculation that Phoenix is in the antebellum South, and is trying to return to the plantation hastily and subtly. A torn dress may reveal her night activities and the fence may be around the plantation itself. The image of one-armed black men standing in cotton fields invokes the antebellum South because of the association of cotton fields with slavery and the potential of amputation as a sort of punishment. It is not immediately known whether these images are related to Phoenix's past, present, or neither. The story came out in 1941, so if she is around 90 and the story takes places in 1941, she could reasonably have memories of slavery. However, the fact that when she encounters a white man she is not questio...
... middle of paper ...
...that her forgetfulness caused his death, either with the lye incident itself or afterwards. This is ambiguous, which emphasizes Phoenix's language and her personality instead of plot. The effect of her descriptions of him has more impact on the understanding of Phoenix and her relation with the world than on plot and closure.
The ambiguity in “A Worn Path” impacts the story in several ways. It changes how the details are approached, discarding expectations. It helps the story become more immersive. It shifts the emphasis of the story from plot to the trip itself, Phoenix's personality, and the environment. It probably impacted decisions regarding the narrator. It emphasizes Phoenix's state and casts doubt on the grandson's status. Ultimately, the ambiguity in “A Worn Path” impacts how it is read, the expressive impact of the story, and the technical aspects of it.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Literary Essay - A Worn Path “Authors use setting to create meaning, just as painters use backgrounds and objects to render ideas.” - Literary Anthology. The setting of "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty, takes place on a cold December morning during the 1940 's. In "A Worn Path", the setting allows readers to grasp a better understanding of various components which make up the story. The components are the character qualities, symbols and the mood and atmosphere. The path the main character, Phoenix, follows to the city and what she endures through her journey shows what kind of person Phoenix is and the true qualities of her character.... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Fiction, Short story]
1465 words (4.2 pages)
- While symbols are everywhere in the world, some are well known and others are unfamiliar. Like, in Eudora Welty’s vividly imaginative short story, “A Worn Path”, symbolism can be seen throughout. “A Worn Path” tells the tale of Phoenix Jackson-an African American woman-who deals with the oppression from whites during the mid-1900’s. Phoenix Jackson’s grandson has swallowed Lye and it is time for her to obtain his medicine from town. She begins her journey to town on a cold early morning in December.... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Symbol, White people]
899 words (2.6 pages)
- “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty is a short story in which fulfills all aspects of literary connotations. Phoenix Jackson’s only true motivation to keep living was to help keep her young grandson live. While there are a multitude of literary elements and devices splurged throughout the story, some of the first ones to spot make the biggest impact. Phoenix Jackson’s name is revealed in the first three lines of text, and leads the reader to make an immediate assumption. She makes this trek over and over again, continuously, and as she nears the end of her life she will nourish her own son back to health.... [tags: a worn path]
671 words (1.9 pages)
- Fate in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Fate can take control of humans lives and can help humans reach the end of the challenging path. The path is a journey which can not be totally controlled by humans. There will always be obstacles that will rely on fate. The path is a metaphor for life and life is full of obstacle s and risks that Phoenix needed to overcome in this story. Before Phoenix made it down the hill, the bush got caught in her clothes. It shows that you should not judge from the outside and that things are not always what they seem.... [tags: Worn Path]
536 words (1.5 pages)
- Following Welty’s A Worn Path The stories meld together into a long history of oppression. Slave ships transport thousands of Africans from the Gold Coast into America's grip, callously beginning black America's racial saga. Laborers collapse after hours of shredding their fingers on cotton plants. Sobbing mothers tenderly clean up the flesh that cat-o-nine tails ripped off their child's back. America eventually witnesses the Emancipation of slaves, and even relative "equality," but an African American's obstacles will never completely subside.... [tags: A Worn Path Essays]
860 words (2.5 pages)
- “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, is the tale of an elderly black woman who shows an enormous amount of determination when it comes to helping her unceasingly ill grandson. Phoenix Jackson is the main character in Welty’s “A Worn Path.” Throughout the story, Miss Phoenix Jackson travels the same path every day overcoming whatever obstacles she encounters as she strives along the path in the contribution of her grandson’s health, for he is whom Phoenix habitually travels this “worn path.” Furthermore, the story must be noted for its simplicity, and vast metaphoric symbolism.... [tags: Eudora Welty, Essays on A Worn Path]
2514 words (7.2 pages)
- Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" Throughout time, people have traveled the trodden course of life, overcoming obstacles along the way and grasping onto hope to strengthen their steps. In her short story “A Worn Path”, Eudora Welty communicates this timeless theme through the protagonist, Phoenix, who has traveled this path many times. Through her usage of dialogue and symbolism, Welty illustrates the lasting concept that people conquer hardships in life and ultimately prevail. Welty utilizes dialogue to portray how others belittle Phoenix and attempt to destroy her dignity in vain.... [tags: Eudora Welty Worn Path Essays]
649 words (1.9 pages)
- A Worn Path – An Analysis The short story "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty, is a descriptive story of a grandmother's difficult journey, for a grandson she loves. Her devotion to her grandson and wanting to provide him with a better lifestyle, was her motivation to overcome these trials. On this trip, Phoenix Jackson, the grandmother, struggles against old age, nature, and reality. Phoenix Jackson was certainly a dedicated old lady. She refused to give up, despite the odds against her, to help her grandson.... [tags: Worn Path essays]
874 words (2.5 pages)
- Devotion in A Worn Path In "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty an elderly African American woman named Phoenix Jackson picks a cold December day to make yet another perilous journey to a city to get medicine for her ailing grandson. On the way this ninety-year-old woman faces many obstacles, both natural and man-made. Phoenix draws upon her perseverance and willingness to sacrifice herself to help her throughout her journey, but it is the undying love for her grandson that truly guides and drives her to her final goal.... [tags: Worn Path essays]
973 words (2.8 pages)
- Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Eudora Welty's 'A Worn Path' is a story that emphasizes the natural symbolism of the surroundings. As the story begins, we are introduced to our main character, Phoenix Jackson; she is described as a small, old Negro woman. I believe that the name Eudora Welty gives our main character is very symbolic. The legend of the Phoenix is about a fabled sacred bird of ancient Egyptians. The bird is said to come out of Arabia every 500 years to Heliopolis, where it burned itself on the altar and rose again from its ashes, young and beautiful.... [tags: Eudora Welty Worn Path Essays Papers]
1353 words (3.9 pages)