Phoenix Jackson lived back in the country past the pines. She lived a lifetime of hardship. Her role in society is an old black woman in a white world, though she is not ashamed of her inferior position. She has walked a path periodically to get medicine for her chronically ill grandson who drank lye. On a cold December day, she shares one of her journeys to the hospital in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path." This specific journey is examined closely of an old woman full of dedication, dignity and high morale.
Before the journey even begins, we come to an understanding that this journey is going to be a struggle for Phoenix. She is described as "very old and small" (86) and walks carefully with her "thin, small cane made from an umbrella" (86). As she begins her journey, she talks to herself and warns all the animals to stay out of her way because as she says, "I got a long way" (87). She is determined to go down that path in spite of anything that she may come across. Her body may be worn out, and she may lack good eyesight, but she carries a great attitude to keep her on her way.
As Phoenix begins her journey up through the pines and down through the oaks, she is faced with many obstacles. Old Phoenix never plans to succumb to defeat. She sees nature only as a guardian when her dress gets caught in a bush. "Thorns, you doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass" (87), says Phoenix while she carefully removes her long dress out of the bush. As Phoenix goes along the path, respect for her character grows as I witness all the difficulties she encounters. Her goal is to finish her journey. Her love for her grandson helps her conquer all the obstacles along the way.
As Phoenix walks up the hill t...
... middle of paper ...
...worn path to get the needed medication for him. At this point, I am unsure if the boy who drank the lye is still alive or if he is just vividly living in Phoenix's mind as a memory. Although old Phoenix has made this long journey to get medication for her grandson, it really has no significance in the story. This story is concentrating on Phoenix Jackson. We see all the tribulations in her life while she is making this long journey and pity her, but in all actuality we are admiring her for the sacrifices she has made to help a loved one.
Phoenix shows us that we need love for people, dedication to achieve goals, prayer to God who will give us hope, and wits to make good decisions. We need people like Phoenix, whose name symbolizes a bird that had lived for five hundred years, bringing good news and hope for happiness, hope for miracles and a better future.
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