Analysis Of Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

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“Walk pretty” she said “This is the easy place. This is easy going.”– Eudora Welty Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” pulls the reader into the world of the protagonist, Phoenix Jackson, as she made her regular trip into the city of Natchez, Mississippi to pick up medicine for her grandson. Throughout Phoenix’s trip through the pinewoods, she encounters natural obstacles. Welty characterization of Phoenix and her use of symbolism and imagery give the reader in-depth descriptions into the obstacles that Phoenix faced. It is a story about perseverance, social class, love and all of life’s challenges. This simple story is packed full of inspiration; however, one of the messages is extremely simple; Do not give up in life. Welty’s title “A Worn Path”…show more content…
The path that the title refers to is the path that the old woman has travelled many times. Metaphorically, it could also depict Phoenix’s journey through life. Similar to life, she encounters many obstacles throughout her travels. Welty uses the obstacles in the story to teach a lesson as well. When Phoenix dress gets caught on the thorns she says “Thorns, you doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir. Old eyes thought you was a pretty little green bush.” (Welty 92) Metaphorically, Welty shows us not to judge a book by its cover because on the outside the bush appeared pretty and green but hidden were prickly thorns that tore at her…show more content…
There are numerous references of race throughout the story; Mary Ellen Byrne noted that the use of the terms granny and grandma by the Caucasian characters in Welty’s story was a form of Derogation. However the “frequent mention of her name by the narrator restores her status.” During the encounter with the white hunter in the woods, the white man’s playfulness could be described as showing his races dominance over this older black woman. The Hunter lifts his guns and points it at Phoenix in a act of dominance but she does not back down. “Doesn’t this gun scare you?” She stood and faced him showing no fear. (Welty 94) Normally if someone presents a gun a normal reaction may be to cower or maybe fear. During this time in Mississippi, the reader would presume a black woman in the presence of a dominating white man may do the same. However Phoenix stands tall. The use of these strong metaphors portrays stronger meanings then just a trip to town. It creates depth to the story. Robert Phillips wrote that Welty adds narrative references that “The protagonist. Phoenix is not aware of the parallels, but the reader is, and this awareness adds another dimension to the story.” (Philips

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