Worn Path

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Worn Path

Knowing secret information can be a very enlightening thing. Knowing information that someone else does not helps make the reader feel more powerful. Such is the case when the reader knows of the mythical Phoenix and then reads “A Worn Path.” Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” the story of an elderly grandmother’s journey to the doctor’s office for medication for her grandson, explores allusions to mythology, including the character Phoenix and her journey.

“In an Egyptian tale the Phoenix, a large bird, retains immortality by restoring itself every five hundred years by setting fire to its nest and immolating itself by fanning fire with its wings. From the ashes a new Phoenix arises. Then it collects the ashes and flies to Heliopolis, a religious city in Egypt, and deposits the egg at the Temple of the Sun. This bird is a direct link to Old Phoenix in Eudora Welty’s story” (Donlan 5).

Mythology is shown in the physical characteristics of Phoenix Jackson. There are many events throughout the story that remind the reader that Old Phoenix looks and sounds like the mythical bird. The phoenix bird in Egyptian myth is known for its scarlet and gold body” (Donlan 6). In the opening of the story Welty describes Old Phoenix’s appearance as “a golden color ran underneath, and the two knobs of her cheeks were illuminated by a yellow burning under the dark. Under the rag her hair came down on her neck” (Welty 2). Another example is when Phoenix’s cane ma...

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