Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Journey of Life
As I began to read this short story about a painful and tedious trek an aged grandmother endures she has made for the last three or four years to the city with one intention in mind, to get a medicine for her chronically ill grandson. On a cold December day she repeats the same journey again. As we read, it appears to be about a long journey the woman has made throughout the entire story, but by carefully examining the theme, it tells us that there is a greater message than just a long trek. In the story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, an old woman whose human spirit is full of dedication, dignity and high morale overcomes tremendous obstacles of life in the name of love.
Phoenix Jackson is the protagonist of the story who is an African- American woman, old and probably disabled. As one person says in the story “You must be hundreds years”(Welty, p365) addressing Phoenix. All of these characteristics are the evidence that the journey is not going to be easy, but her faith in God and strong relation with nature accommodate her on the way. She understands nature by designating it as a “guardian” when her dress gets caught in the bush. “Thorns doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass”(Welty, p364), says Phoenix while taking her dress carefully out of the bush. When she has difficult times such as fatigue and the fall in the bush, she addresses to God by reaching her hand to Him, but nothing reached down to her. It is not her time to leave the Earth yet, so God sends her a hunter, instead, for help. With her belief in God, her goal to finish her journey and her love for her grandson, she conquers all obstacles on the way.
The most difficult obstacle on her way is a young white man who actually helps her stand up when she falls, but he still poses as a great danger to her because of his prejudiced beliefs against black people. Eudora Welty creates two protagonists of opposite race for the purpose of showing racial discrimination in society. By meeting Phoenix and the hunter can get into societal conflict if Phoenix becomes aggressive against his attitude. Yet, she avoids any verbal and physical confrontations and still manages to get even in the game.
How to Cite this Page
"A Worn Path." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jun 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- As a atypical human response to ethnic discrimination in everyday life, the authors, Eudora Welty, Lorraine Hansberry, and Santha Rama Rau best portray this theme in their short stories. In “A Worn Path”, written by Eudora Welty, an elderly Negro woman by the name of Phoenix Jackson, experiences harsh remarks to many minor antagonists. In comparison, the story of Santha Rama Rau, “By Any Other Name”, enthralls readers through the assimilation of two Indian Children into British schools in their own country.... [tags: Eudora Welty, Short story, A Worn Path, Racism]
1188 words (3.4 pages)
- In mythology the Phoenix is a long-lived bird that is reborn by arising from the ashes from its predecessors. A symbol of undying toughness, it is of little doubt why Eudora Welty decided to name the protagonist of her short story “A Worn Path” in its image. Phoenix Jackson shows an incredible toughness to continue through the obstacles on the path she walks, which act as a symbol of the struggles an “old Negro woman” would have faced during the 1930s in the South, an area afflicted with the Great Depression and residual racism and oppression (333).... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Great Depression]
700 words (2 pages)
- The story I decided to analyze is “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty. A Worn Path is about a courageous old woman looking to find medicine for her sick grandson. The old woman is referred to as Phoenix Jackson in the story and her loss of memory and poor eyesight makes it difficult for her along her journey. Welty tells “A Worn Path” in third person limited point of view and uses symbolism and imagery in describing obstacles Phoenix faces as well as the love for her grandson which may have also aided in her perseverance along her journey.... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Natchez Trace]
1469 words (4.2 pages)
- “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty is a short fictional story first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1941. Welty was an American short-story writer and novelist. Welty was a photographer before she started writing so her stories were as detailed as her photographs. Some reccurring themes she used in her literary pieces were social prejudice, isolation, and southern living. This short story includes these common themes she favored throughout her works. There are multiple themes in this fictional story.... [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Narrator, Jackson]
1169 words (3.3 pages)
- Fate in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Fate can take control of humans lives and can help humans reach the end of the challenging path. The path is a journey which can not be totally controlled by humans. There will always be obstacles that will rely on fate. The path is a metaphor for life and life is full of obstacle s and risks that Phoenix needed to overcome in this story. Before Phoenix made it down the hill, the bush got caught in her clothes. It shows that you should not judge from the outside and that things are not always what they seem.... [tags: Worn Path]
536 words (1.5 pages)
- Following Welty’s A Worn Path The stories meld together into a long history of oppression. Slave ships transport thousands of Africans from the Gold Coast into America's grip, callously beginning black America's racial saga. Laborers collapse after hours of shredding their fingers on cotton plants. Sobbing mothers tenderly clean up the flesh that cat-o-nine tails ripped off their child's back. America eventually witnesses the Emancipation of slaves, and even relative "equality," but an African American's obstacles will never completely subside.... [tags: A Worn Path Essays]
860 words (2.5 pages)
- “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, is the tale of an elderly black woman who shows an enormous amount of determination when it comes to helping her unceasingly ill grandson. Phoenix Jackson is the main character in Welty’s “A Worn Path.” Throughout the story, Miss Phoenix Jackson travels the same path every day overcoming whatever obstacles she encounters as she strives along the path in the contribution of her grandson’s health, for he is whom Phoenix habitually travels this “worn path.” Furthermore, the story must be noted for its simplicity, and vast metaphoric symbolism.... [tags: Eudora Welty, Essays on A Worn Path]
2514 words (7.2 pages)
- Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" Throughout time, people have traveled the trodden course of life, overcoming obstacles along the way and grasping onto hope to strengthen their steps. In her short story “A Worn Path”, Eudora Welty communicates this timeless theme through the protagonist, Phoenix, who has traveled this path many times. Through her usage of dialogue and symbolism, Welty illustrates the lasting concept that people conquer hardships in life and ultimately prevail. Welty utilizes dialogue to portray how others belittle Phoenix and attempt to destroy her dignity in vain.... [tags: Eudora Welty Worn Path Essays]
649 words (1.9 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Worn Path essays]
874 words (2.5 pages)
- Devotion in A Worn Path In "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty an elderly African American woman named Phoenix Jackson picks a cold December day to make yet another perilous journey to a city to get medicine for her ailing grandson. On the way this ninety-year-old woman faces many obstacles, both natural and man-made. Phoenix draws upon her perseverance and willingness to sacrifice herself to help her throughout her journey, but it is the undying love for her grandson that truly guides and drives her to her final goal.... [tags: Worn Path essays]
973 words (2.8 pages)
In the beginning of the century hardly any crime was justified by society, especially if it was committed by a person of a minority group. By stealing five cents from the hunter, Phoenix risks her life. She distracts him with a black dog long enough for her to pick up the nickel and put it in her pocket. The hunter who finally has a chance to exhibit his superiority rushes to get rid of the black dog. Even though the hunter is distracted by his challenge, if he catches Phoenix stealing, she may become a substitute for that black dog. Yet, Phoenix believes that her actions are excusable by her necessity, which refers to financial needs as well as her love and care for her grandson. When the hunter and Phoenix go their separate ways, she sees a bird flying by and thinks to herself, “God watching me the whole time. I come to stealing”(Welty E., p.366). There are Ten Commandments in the Bible, and one of them forbids stealing. However, Phoenix’s difficult experience of slavery and her financial situation are above any law of society or the Bible which justify her actions and perform as a payback for the difficult times in her life.
Unlike many people who would feel weak and helpless if someone pointed a gun at them, Phoenix stands with pride and courage. When the hunter points a gun at Phoenix’s face, she remains calm and even controls the confrontation. Her difficult life’s experience as an African-American woman who lived through slavery makes her spirit strong. Eudora Welty shows that strength through Phoenix’s answer “I have seen plenty [guns] go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done”(p.366). It was not the first time that she has faced death, and she is not going to be scared of that selfish man who believes that everyone and everything should be afraid of him. However, this old woman, who seems to be the weakest victim ever, and should be scared to death of the hunter, looks straight in his eyes telling him that she has no fear of him. The hunter is impressed by her attitude of being so physically weak and spiritually strong that even he can’t break that strength. She is victorious with her inner power, which consists of her love, experience, dignity and wits.
Life is a pathway we all must journey. Just like in the story, we come across many obstacles in the way that may throw us out of control or even make us lose courage. It those difficult moments, we need miracles to restore what has been damaged such as relationships, career, financial stability or health. What can these miracles be? They can be love for people around, dedication to achieve goals, prayer to God who will give us hope, and wits to make the right decisions. We need people like Phoenix whose name symbolizes a bird that had lived for five hundred years, bringing people good news and hope for happiness, hope for miracles and a better future.