In the short stories A Worn Path by Eudora Welty and The Jilting of Granny Weatherall by Katherine Anne Porter, both women overcame several obstacles. In A Worn Path, Phoenix Jackson faced obstacles such as her age, physical challenges, and how others viewed her. Granny faced obstacles such as dying, feeling betrayed by her children, and disappointment in her love life.
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 near by city to get medicine for her ailing grandson. On the way this 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. She is described as being a very old woman. “Her eyes were blue with age. 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 run underneath, and the two knobs of her cheeks were illuminated by a yellow burning under the dark (Welty 386). These all show an indication of her old age. Also, her loss of memory indicates her old age. It was only until Phoenix reached the doctor’s office she remembered why she went on her journey. “My grandson. It was my memory had left me. There I sat and forgot why I made my trip”(Welty 394). Another character in the story was a white man who was a hunter. When Phoenix falls in the ditch, he helps her out of the ditch. Even though the hunter helps Phoenix, he still poses as a threat to her, because it seems he did not want her to finish her journey. This is made apparent when he states, “Why, that’s too far! That’s as far as I walk when I come out myself, and I get something for my trouble”(Welty 391). In addition, like her name, Phoenix seems ageless. When she stops to drink water from the spring she says, “Nobody know who made this well, for it was here when I was born”(Welty 391). When she encounters the hunter and he asks her how old she is she says, “There is no telling, mister, “said, “no telling” (Welty 392). Again her age is emphasized when she goes to the doctor’s office and the nurse ask her why she never went to school. “I never did go to school, I was too old a...
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...e must have due a great compensation in the afterlife. The greatest wrongdoing was that having been promised a Heaven, an eternal life, and Granny was once again left alone.
Granny was much like Phoenix Jackson, they both had to overcome obstacles or challenges in life that made them stronger. Granny had to deal with the heartache and pain of being deceived and disappointed by what she thought was love and Phoenix had to overcome the obstacles of traveling a difficult Journey because of the love she had for her grandson. Fate can control humans’ lives and can help humans reach the end of the challenging path. Phoenix’s and Granny Weatherall’s ability to withstand and overcome these challenges shows their strong determination, and the will power to endure hardship and continue to be strong.
Bartel, Roland. “Life and Death in Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path.’” USA: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1998. 45-48
Kirsznerand and Mandell, Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Earl McPeek. USA: Harcout, Inc., 2001, 1997,1994,1991. 388-395
Porter, Katherine Anne. “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.” Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2000.
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