An Analysis of Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Essay

An Analysis of Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Essay

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A Worn Path – An Analysis

  The short story "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty, is a descriptive story of a grandmother's difficult journey, for a grandson she loves. Her devotion to her grandson and wanting to provide him with a better lifestyle, was her motivation to overcome these trials. On this trip, Phoenix Jackson, the grandmother, struggles against old age, nature, and reality.


        Phoenix Jackson was certainly a dedicated old lady. She refused to give up, despite the odds against her, to help her grandson. Her grandson was very sick, and needed certain medication to live. After traveling miles through wilderness, barbed wire, thorn bushes, and being confronted by a white man with a gun, she still persisted on her path. She didn't care about the consequences to her self on her journey. Her only concern was that little boy, who was sick at home, waiting for her. In a time period when whites had the say over blacks, she took a great risk in disobeying the white hunter, he told her "Now you go on home, Granny"(215). To which she replied, "I bound to go to town mister"(215), and belligerently ignored him. She even risked her life in stealing 5 cents that the man had dropped, all for the sake of giving her grandson a gift.


        On her weary voyage, Phoenix Jackson had to overcome the hardships that her old age brought. As she traveled miles as she was "moving a little from side to side" (212). Her speaking to the animals in saying, "Keep out from under these feet little bobwhite"(213), is possibly an example of her being senile. Another example of her seeming senile is when she sees a little boy bringing her marble cake; not realizing it's just an illusion. An example of her determination in overc...

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.... The moral may lie beneath the actual story, because the grandson's livelihood may not be the only one at stake through this journey. The woman, being old, may represent death. And the trip is her voyage to find life, or preserve what little life she has life. If she gives up, she loses that life, which is what the grandson is symbolic of. Her devotion to her grandson and her love for him, may be her motivation. But, her devotion to life is another. She accomplishes her goals by overcoming the struggles that old age and nature brought against her. By doing so, she's regained the life she loves, at least, until next year, when she travels that worn path again.


Works Cited

Welty, Eudora. "A Worn path." Literature for Composition. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, Morton Berman, William Burto, William E. Cain, Marcia Stubbs.

5th ed. New York: Longman, 2000. 212-218

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