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Analysis Of "A Worn Path"

992 words - 4 pages

Phoenix Jackson lived back in the country past the pines. She lived a lifetime of hardship. Her role in society is an old black woman in a white world, though she is not ashamed of her inferior position. She has walked a path periodically to get medicine for her chronically ill grandson who drank lye. On a cold December day, she shares one of her journeys to the hospital in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path." This specific journey is examined closely of an old woman full of dedication, dignity and high morale.

Before the journey even begins, we come to an understanding that this journey is going to be a struggle for Phoenix. She is described as "very old and small" (86) and walks carefully with her "thin, small cane made from an umbrella" (86). As she begins her journey, she talks to herself and warns all the animals to stay out of her way because as she says, "I got a long way" (87). She is determined to go down that path in spite of anything that she may come across. Her body may be worn out, and she may lack good eyesight, but she carries a great attitude to keep her on her way.

As Phoenix begins her journey up through the pines and down through the oaks, she is faced with many obstacles. Old Phoenix never plans to succumb to defeat. She sees nature only as a guardian when her dress gets caught in a bush. "Thorns, you doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass" (87), says Phoenix while she carefully removes her long dress out of the bush. As Phoenix goes along the path, respect for her character grows as I witness all the difficulties she encounters. Her goal is to finish her journey. Her love for her grandson helps her conquer all the obstacles along the way.

As Phoenix walks up the hill through the pines, she experiences a feeling of chains being bound to her feet. This indicates her social status and possibly her financial situation. When Phoenix's dress is caught in the bush, "it was not possible to allow her dress to tear" (87). She wore this long dress with an equally long apron made of bleached sugar sacks. Phoenix values all of her possessions greatly, including her grandson. When Phoenix was knocked into a ditch by a dog, a hunter confronts her. "He lifted her up, gave her a swing in the air, and set her down" (89). The hunter wants to show off his strength from being young, and his power from being white. He discourages her to continue and treats her with great disrespect. Though, through all of this, old Phoenix keeps her conversation sensitive with sarcasm in her words. Phoenix...

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