America's Identy Crisis In Welty's A Worn Path

1035 words - 5 pages

Welty’s A Worn Path demonstrates an identity crisis of American culture towards racism and poverty. Reading at the beginning and not understanding or looking beyond it, it’s just an old lady going to town to get her ill grandson some medication. Nothing exciting to read, it’s kind of boring, no climax at all. This is true if we didn’t consider the hidden symbolisms and other issues involved in the story. This story is so simple but tells more than just am old African Americans trip to town for medicine for her grandson. But from a great insight, Phoenix Jackson developed a sense of responsibility toward her grandson, who actually might be the only person in her life in life itself.
The moral of the story tells about an old African American woman named phoenix Jackson who was taking a journey from her home into town to seek some medication for her ill grandson. During this journey the story describes Phoenix Jackson facing struggles and obstacles against her eye sight and old age, as well as nature’s obstacles, thorn bushes and barbed wire. Thru these obstacles Phoenix Jackson is able to depict her poetic view of the world through symbolism. During the time period this story was written was in 1941 WWII had just begun, but not only that also of poverty that was a reality to many—particularly to blacks and people rural areas.
The title itself, “A Worn Path,” referred to life as the journey itself through a worn path. Obstacles that Phoenix Jackson faced shows the real-life hardships, lies, and aggressions, that minorities face. Despite its simplicity, Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” does show us some of the greatest of life’s reality.

The writer starts the story using racial description and symbolism to describe Phoenix Jackson. The name phoenix Jackson is obviously a huge indication on what she is trying to symbolize. Phoenix is described as having “golden color underneath her skin”, and “two knobs of her cheeks were illuminated by a yellow burning under the dark”. Welty then describes a sign of poverty on how Phoenix Jackson was wearing red rags on her hair and an apron made form sugar sacks. Throughout the story Jackson makes references to slavery, “as if she has chains on her legs”. Only references and old woman from slavery might remember.
An important part of the story happened while phoenix Jackson was traveling and had fallen into a ditch, and a white hunter had bypassed her. Although he did help her up demonstrating his willingness to help a person in need, he had little respect while doing so. Willingly he help to lift her out the ditch but doesn’t see her equal as one. When he learns that she plans to walk to town, he assumes Phoenix is not capable to make the long journey or has a reason to go into town and he tells her to go home. He mocks her, assuming that “old color folks” have no reason to go into town. He then threatens her...

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