Eudora Welty 's A Worn Path

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In Eudora Welty 's "A Worn Path" the reader is told of the journey of Phoenix Jackson an elderly African-American woman. Beginning the story, her journey appears irrelevant. Jackson travels through the woods and over hills powering through the many hardships that an elderly woman would face. Towards the conclusion of this story, a reader recognizes the meaning of Phoenix’s journey. Through the entire story she has been journeying to obtain medicine for her grandson that had fallen ill from “swallowing lye"(p. 105). In Welty’s story it is easily recognizable to the reader that the theme of the story is how one will face extreme hardships for the ones that they love, specifically Phoenix struggles with her vision, being senile, and just the burden on her body of the journey itself. Phoenix is faced with a couple of types of challenges along her journey. Firstly, she is older in her years, she has poorer eyesight, and she doesn’t have the stamina of a younger person. There is no confusion in the fact that Phoenix is elderly. As people age there are more obstacles that on has to overcome in their day-to-day life. Once people start reaching older age, one’s body starts changing in various ways that make many of us have to depend on other methods of getting by in life. On multiple occasions Welty illustrates the idea that Phoenix is definitely a woman in her older years. Just one of many examples in her writing is, "Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles" (p. 98). Through the love and care for her grandson the challenges that she must face seem like mere stepping stones. In the story Welty makes implications that memories that Phoenix recalls of her grandson are so vivid and cherished in her mind that even ... ... middle of paper ... ...merges from the woods to a very steep hill to say, " Seems like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far" (p. 99). Even though Phoenix is very determined in her journey the hill gives her an extreme challenge. "Something always take a hold of me on this hill--pleads I should stay" (p. 99). We then see how Phoenix endures the pain and challenge of the hill for her grandson. Just another of the many ways that Phoenix shows love for her grandson. In conclusion Phoenix’s journey illustrates a passionate story of hardship and sacrifices for those you love. Regardless of her setbacks, Phoenix does not stray from her path because of the love she has for her grandson. Phoenix knows that she is her grandson’s only hope of survival so she deals with the pain and setbacks to save his life. “She seeks the city to give life to her grandson.” (Studies in Short Fiction)

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