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A Worn Path Essay

1008 words - 4 pages

A Worn Path

A worn path is a story about a woman named Phoenix Jackson who needs to go a journey to town to get medicine for her sick grandson. It is a trip she has made before many times before (hence the title A worn Path) but there is something special about this trip, something different. In this paper I plan to dwell into the symbolism behind the Legend of the Phoenix and its relationship to her journey in the story. The legend of the Phoenix is about a fabled sacred bird of ancient Egyptians, said to come out of Arabia every 500 years to Heliopolis, where it burned itself on altar and rose again from its ashes young and beautiful; symbol of immortality. I think this story also represents Christian beliefs because the setting is Christmas time and the story is about dying then rising again like Jesus did on the cross. Also I think that there is a coalition between the grandson and the Son of God.

Phoenix, the women in the story represent the myth of the Phoenix because she is described as being very old and near the end of her life. She is a pitiful sight, she can hardly walk and has to use a make shift cane made of an old umbrella to aid her. Her skin is described as old and wrinkly but yet with a golden color running beneath it “Her skin is had a pattern all its own, of numberless branching wrinkles in the middle of her forehead, but a golden color ran underneath”. I think her skin tone is a symbol of the golden feathers of the Phoenix.

I believe that her grandson represents the next Phoenix the one that will be given life when she dies. I think the trip to the city to get the medicine represents the mythological trip that the Phoenix takes to the sun to die. I say this because by going on this journey Phoenix is using the last of her energy and will probably die soon after it. On her way to the city Phoenix faces many obstacles. One obstacle she faces is old age “Seems like there is chains about my feet “ she says this because her old age has left her almost immobile. The first actual obstacle she comes across is the scarecrow who represents death or the grim reaper because he is described as wearing all black and is trying to get her to come with him. Another thing that links the scarecrow to death is the simple fact that he is in a field. The next obstacle is the white hunter who tells her to go back and represents evil forces ” Well, granny you must be a hundred years old and scared of nuthin I’d give you a dime if...

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