Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" is a story that emphasizes the natural symbolism of the
surroundings. The main character in the story, Phoenix Jackson, is an old black woman who
seeks out to find medicine for her sick nephew. This story contains a motif, which is the
continuous walking of Phoenix Jackson throughout her journey. She lives in the pinewoods
and faces the challenging experience of walking through the snowy, frozen earth to get to
the hospital in the city of Natchez. Phoenix Jackson is a very caring person, and is in
love with life. Although she is very old, it seems that she has many years ahead of her.
Eudora Welty brings realism into the story describing the realities of being old.
It is Christmas, and Phoenix Jackson has to head out to the city to obtain the medicine
for her nephew. A long time ago, her nephew swallowed lye that burned his throat, and the
medicine is the only thing that relieves his pain. The woods are filled with pine trees
that cast dark shadows throughout the terrain. The darkness that surrounds Phoenix is the
total opposite of her. She is a poor woman, but is very neat and tidy. She appreciates
the small things in life and respects what she has. Although she is old, she has
extremely dark hair, wears a red bandana, and has much "life" within her:
Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles and as though a whole
little tree stood in the middle of her forehead, but a golden color ran underneath, and the two knobs of her cheeks were illumined by a yellow burning under
the bark. (87)
It is almost as if she is a part of nature herself, when Eudora Welty describes her as
having a tree within her forehead. ...
... middle of paper ...
...ling to travel through the rugged pinewoods to
get the medicine that cures his illness. All of the things included in the forest
represent natural symbolism that is directly related to the realism of Phoenix Jackson.
The windmill is a perfect representation of the circle of life, and Phoenix has many more
years to live. When Phoenix dies, her spirit of the Phoenix bird will live on in her
nephew who most likely will live a long, happy life.
Hicks, Granville. "Eudora Welty." Critical Essays on Eudora Welty. Ed. W. Craig Turner and Lee Emling Harding. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1989. 259-67.
Howard, Zelma Turner. The Rhetoric of Eudora Welty's Short Stories. Jackson, Miss.: University and College Press of Mississippi, 1973.
Welty, Eudora. "A Worn Path." The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. 142-49.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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)
- The Hero Sojourner in A Worn Path by Eudora Welty In A Worn Path by: Eudora Welty, the main character emulates the necessary nuts and bolts of the archetypal journey as it's hero; answers a call to an adventure, has to go through trials of fear, and ending with the retrieval of two prizes. Eudora Welty's short story "A Worn Path" takes place on a "bright, frozen day" in December. Representing a struggle, but most of all represents determination. Her name is Phoenix Jackson. This story is about sacrifice, Good versus Evil, and overcoming obstacles.... [tags: English Literature]
867 words (2.5 pages)
- What is imagery. Imagery is using words in a story to paint a picture in the reader’s head. I think these short stories did an excellent job at bringing into the story. I felt like I was walking with Phoenix Jackson in “A Worn Path.” I was staring at the paper in “Yellow Wallpaper.” These two stories truly spoke to me more because they used so many beautiful words to bring me in. Even though “Happy Endings” and “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” did not speak to me like the other stories, they made me think about how life can end very briefly In “Happy Endings,” we hear six different types of stories about the same characters.... [tags: Short story, Fiction, Eudora Welty, A Worn Path]
1005 words (2.9 pages)
- 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)
- Nancy Wood Professor LaBossiere Enc 1102 20 Nov 2015 A Worn Path By Eudora Welty A Worn Path is a short story that incorporates the themes of love and determination. The story reveals in its theme the love an old Negro woman had for her sick grandson, and the determination she had to complete the task she set for herself. The title itself suggests that the path taken many times which suggests determination. The author Eudora Welty grew up in the south, and witnessed the hard lives the people of color faced during the depression, and the determination they had was the theme of many of her stories.... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Short story]
1176 words (3.4 pages)
- In Eudora Welty’s, “A Worn Path” Phoenix Jackson went great lengths risking her own life for her grandson, who couldn’t help himself. On her worn path she faced the world with courage. Although she faced difficulty in her early life, her faith remained the same to help those who were dear to her heart. She walk a worn path relentlessly facing obstacles along the way with a mind that is diminishing overtime. Through the problems that she is faced with, she remains humble. She is admirable because considering her old age, weakness and loss of memory, she is determined.... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Short story, Natchez]
1386 words (4 pages)
- Everyday people encounter challenges that stand in their way of achieving their goals, but with sheer determination most accomplish their mission. In the short story “A Worn Path” written by Eudora Welty, Phoenix Jackson, the main character, has a mission to complete while confronting many challenges. One way to convey this idea is with the literary use of theme. The theme of a literary work is defined as the central idea, concern or message about life that an author wishes to convey to his/her readers.... [tags: Determination, Worn Path, Eudora Welty, ]
659 words (1.9 pages)
- This paper focuses on two stories written by two writers during in the nineteenth-century period to explore differences or similarities in their writing. Specifically, the current paper compares and contrasts how Eudora Welty and Kate Chopin convey issues in their society by considering the use of language, themes, point of view, and characterization in A Worn Path and Regret respectively. Critics have lauded Eudora Welty’s knack for creating art out of everyday experiences that touched her life.... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Narrative]
1752 words (5 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)
- Overcoming the Odds in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path
- Sympathy for Nora in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House
- The Horrors of War in Wilfred Owen's Poem, Dulce et Decorum Est
- Mysticism in D. H. Lawrence's A Fragment of Stained Glass
- Identity of Women in Shelley's Frankenstein, Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Eliot's The Mill on the Floss
- Truth vs. Fiction in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Uncle Tom's Cabin