Free «A Worm Path» Essay Sample

The short story "A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty entails an old African-American woman referred to as Phoenix Jackson. This short story is seen as one of the most notable and often studied works of short fiction by Eudora Welty. In accordance to the story, Phoenix Jackson is walking across the woods heading to town. While don the way, she comes across, several restraints, they include such as like the barbed wire, a huge dog, in addition to the hunter that she encounters with a woman who assist her ties her shoes.  These are a few challenges that she is faced with in the course of her journey. She is going to town to get medication for her grandson.  Phoenix sees hallucinations, for instance, the medication that she goes to pick is of no value as her grandson died several years ago. Yet, as a result of hallucinations, phoenix believes that the grandson is still alive. The old love that phoenix had for her grandsons the main reason as to why she is faced by so many challenges on her way to town (Eudora, 67).  Therefore, “A Worn Path" is an account of an endless love and dedication that drives an individual towards a particular goal.

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"A Worn Path" is an analysis of the journey of an aged black woman referred to as Phoenix Jackson who walks to the town of Natchez to get medication for her grandson who is sick. The setting as Phoenix sees it turn out to be a main focus of the clear narrative; nature is portrayed as consecutively beautiful and as an obstruction to the progress of phoenix. When walking, she is faced by poor eyesight and fatigue and other physical challenges such as obstacles as the dog, barbed wire and the thorn bushes. The effects she displays despite her age her poetic interpretation of the world enhances the lyricism and symbolism in the short story. For instance, she confuses a scarecrow for a swaying "ghost" until she comes closer enough to feel its sleeves. A precisely tense incidence occurs is when she comes across a hunter who at first seems friendly, but later makes a lofty suggestion that she is perhaps "going to town to see Santa Claus." The hunter unconsciously drops a nickel; she confuses him and succeeds to pick it up. On reaching the city of Natchez, she gets into a hospital which she refers to as a big building. Phoenix claims to the nurse that she could not remember why she came to town. She tells the nurse that her grandson is still alive and thus receives the medicine for him (Eudora, 77).

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Point of View

The story of "A Worn Path" is stated from a third-person point of view. This enables the reader to sympathize with Phoenix, due to the fact that her thoughts and actions are clearly indicated. In the third-person narration, the reader is able to see the aged and thus have a personal insight of the story.

Major Themes

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Phoenix Jackson appears in the short story “A Worn Path" as a character who suffers; she is the symbol of persistence, endurances, and life existence in the aspect of suffering and death. her complete strength completing the long journey alone on foot  to town despite the many challenges that she is faced with indicates her qualities, so does the allegorical significance of her name, Phoenix, this is a bird form Egypt that  symbolizes the rebirth. Another aspect that is presence in the story is Christian symbolism. For instance, the story is in a setting during the Christmas links the journey by Phoenix to that of a religious journey; her unselfish worry for her sick grandson is inferred as a representation of the real spirit of being philanthropic and altruism. The plot of the story also indicates Phoenix who is a black woman  in direct battle with the outside society run by white people do not seem to respect her, she in this situation re-presents the black people (Eudora, 122).

The mood

The mood of the story a slow one, it moves with the same pace as Phoenix. The “slow plot and actions of the story emphasizes to the character's severe environments" and highlights toward her effort (Eudora, 100). As Phoenix walks cautiously through the thorny woods and bushes on her way to town, she speaks gently and confidently to herself. This indicates how assured she was to herself in addition to her perseverance as she approaches her goal. The slow and steady movement in the story shows her determination and effort towards a commitment that she perceives appropriate for such a journey.

Critical analysis

In “A Worn Path,” the author applies the activities of the brave journey to define the escapades of a woman who is uninformed of her own boldness. The less complex style that the author applies for her story of Phoenix Jackson’s journey makes the story more touching and effective. The story of Phoenix Jackson's journey in search of medicine for her grandson has been acknowledged both for its depth and being simple in nature (Eudora, 78). The story of an elderly black woman who trips into town contains a level of uncertainty that has captivated readers for over six decades. Critical Readers have had speculations whether the grandson for whom Phoenix Jackson trips along the town for medications is already dead in the start of the story. Confirmation from the short the story could support either one understanding; in addition, the author indicated only that at least Phoenix considers that he is alive. Phoenix must be certain that her journey is in search of life, but not for death.

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