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Character Analysis: Phoenix Jackson

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The mythological story "A Worn Path” is of tales and figures, the most considerable, being the legend of the phoenix. There are numerous symbols and allusions brought about in the story relating to the legend of the phoenix. The phoenix is a bird that comes from Egyptian mythology. The best analogy of the phoenix is a magnificent bird. The phoenix has astonishing powers. It has the knack to materialize and vanish in the blink of an eye. The myth states the phoenix travels to the sun. The sun gives the phoenix it powers. The heat incinerates the bird. The bird is reborn from the ashes. From her name along with appearance to her action and the symbolism throughout the story, Phoenix Jackson is the manifestation of the phoenix (bird).

Phoenix's name is obviously the indicator that symbolizes what she represents. The phoenix gives the feeling of hope, security, and promise. Its mission is to protect the weak and banish the evil. Phoenix's objective was to acquire medicine to rid her grandson of his suffering. Phoenix's looks portray her resemblance to the phoenix. The introductory of the story, Phoenix is portrayed adhering "golden color underneath her skin. The two knobs of her cheeks intensified with a yellow burning under the dark" (Welty, par. 2). Welty further explicates Phoenix's hair bound back in a "red rag" (Welty, par. 2). These likenesses are not a coincident. The phoenix from the ancient Egyptian legend portrayed having an exquisite red and gold plumage (Saunders, par. 6). In addition, Phoenix's eyes are said to be "blue with age" (Welty, par. 1). This anecdote is one of many that shares hints of her oldness. The phoenix a bird that matures to an extreme age before it bursts into flames and reborn from the ash...

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Donlan, Don. "'A Worn Path': Immortality of Stereotype." English Journal 62.4 (Apr. 1973): 549-550. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 27. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resources from Gale. 18 Oct. 2010. Web.

Saunders, James Robert. "'A Worn Path': The Eternal Quest of Welty's Phoenix Jackson." The Southern Literary Journal 25.1 (Fall 1992): 62-73. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 27. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resources from Gale. 18 Oct. 2010. Web.

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