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A Worn Path Essay

846 words - 3 pages

A Worn Path Detail of an elderly Negro woman?s journey from deep in the country to town, the while on mission of love. Phoenix Jackson, an elderly Negro women who is frail, old and has many handicaps, she lived during trying times and because of her race, faced many challenges while growing up, Eudora Welty brings the story, ?A Worn Path?, to life through the use of the character Phoenix Jackson and symbols.While overcoming challenges her character is born. The story is based on an elderly Negro women?s journey into town for medicine for her grandson. Along the way she encounters physical challenges, obstacles and danger. She climbs hills, crosses streams, crawls under barbed-wire fences; she faces dangers while out in the wilderness and a hunter who threatens her life with a gun. This happens on a single trip to town. Phoenix is quite remarkable woman.2 Phoenix?s ability to make the journey and overcome these challenges shows her strong determination, dedication, devotion and the will power to endure hardship to finish her task. These weekly journeys had become a virtual ritual. Vande Kieft states ?Miss Eudora Welty often takes ritual action very seriously-especially the most simple and primitive rituals of home, or private rituals which comes from repeated performances of an action of love?, Old Phoenix?s down the worn Path. (70).The conflicts were put in the story to show us the inner feelings of Phoenix. She was able to endure hardships and yet stays focused on the task at hand. This tells us while she was growing up she over came many obstacles. Kreyling says, ?usually Welty reserved for her black characters the functions of this vital, sure and faithful, ways of living of which modern man has either lost or denied. Phoenix Jackson represents the condition of the human race before ?enfeebling? layers of civilization anesthetized it. Although primitive, Phoenix is centered in and directed toward the value of life, the path worn by habit of hope. She possesses that vitality without which, faith would not be possible?. (24).3 Using nothing more than details of an old Negro woman?s journey to city to get medicine for her grandson, but gives us a sense of human fortitude that is almost unbearable in its? sad intensity. (Turner, Harding 262).Using symbols brings color and fullness to the character in the story. This sets the time, place and shows hardships that developed her character. A mythical bird that dies fire and is reborn from the ashes every...

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