This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Perspectives On Hope: Eudora Welty's A Worn Path, And Maya Angelou's Still I Rise

2026 words - 8 pages

The emotion of hope is important because life is uncertain. Factors such as wealth, education and opportunity may play a role in dividing people into different social categories, but no amount of privilege or advantage can shield a person from disappointment, pain, loss or death. These are universal adversities for all humankind. The word hope can be defined in different ways. Many religious people think of hope as a virtue, along with faith and love. Survivors of trauma often credit hope as the inspiration that kept them going. A realists may say that hope is nothing more than wishful thinking. No matter how it is defined, whether it is a belief or a feeling, hope is the idea of something bigger than oneself. The application of hope can provide comfort, strength and encouragement. Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” is a story of one woman’s hopeful, determined journey. Overcoming every obstacle and distraction in her path, she perseveres in order to complete her objective. Similarly, Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” tells the story of strength and resilience during adversity. The poem is a celebration of the endurance and hope of the African-American race. While both of these narratives highlight the unfortunate American history of racism, the stories also relate the importance of hope and the impact it can have on one’s life. During times of adversity, the human spirit is strengthened and inspired by the emotion of hope.
When considering the importance of hope and its value to society, it is important to mention that without hope humankind would be lost. Optimism and determination have made a lasting impact on history. Hope has affected the past by fostering the resilience and fortitude required to fight injustices such as racism. The racial equality and civil rights movement of modern society are the direct result of the perseverance of hopeful ancestors who dreamed of a better life. In her poem, Maya Angelou offers a reference of the reprehensible behavior experienced by her ancestors when she says, “You may shoot me with your words / You may cut me with your eyes / You may kill me with your hatefulness” (lines 21-23). The figurative descriptions of hatred and violence in Angelou’s poem were the literal experiences of her ancestors. In the days before racial equality, the safety of black people was constantly jeopardized because society placed little value on them as human beings. The emotional damage to the psyche and self-esteem of the victims of racism was extensive for most. In considering the experiences of her forefathers, Angelou asks in “Still I Rise:”
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries. (13-16)
Despite the insurmountable obstacles before them, such as violence, danger and even death, the eternal hope to someday be considered equal to their white counterparts inspired black men and women continued to struggle to advance their cause no matter the...

Find Another Essay On Perspectives on Hope: Eudora Welty's A Worn Path, and Maya Angelou's Still I Rise

Overcoming the Odds in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

1834 words - 7 pages In the short story, "A Worn Path" Eudora Welty's plot is not all that clear in the beginning, but progresses as her character carries on against the overwhelming forces against her. In this short story a black elderly woman, Phoenix Jackson, must overcome the odds against her as she valiantly travels through many obstacles in order to contribute to the wellness of her grandson, for whom she is making this trip down "a worn path." It is at

Symbolic References in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

1788 words - 8 pages . Dominguez5 Phoenix looked at the money and said “I going to the store and buy my child a little windmill they sell, made out of paper.” Then she gave a nod and turned around and left the doctor’s office to get the windmill for her grandson. In Eudora Welty’s short story ‘A Worn Path, there are numerous of symbolic connection that are made in the short story. The

Love Conquers All in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

602 words - 2 pages .   Throughout the story we see time and time again that Phoenix's love for her grandson is unwavering. She never thinks of turning back, despite all the trouble she encounters. We learn that although she may not be physically strong, she is headstrong. She makes this treacherous trip all the way into town to get his medicine so that he may live another six months, and she still has to make the journey in reverse to get it back home to him.   Work Cited Welty, Eudora.  "A Worn Path"  Literature and the Writing Process.  Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk.  5th ed.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice, 1999.  363-368.

Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's A Yellow Wallpaper, and Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

2506 words - 10 pages When studying patterns and trends in society, some sociologists refer to the unequal distribution of property, power, and prestige around the world as social stratification. This stratification forms the basis of the divisions of society and categorizations of people. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” Gilman and Welty both explore the implications of a stratified society divided on gender and

Time Worn Tradition: A Comparison of Values in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"

1177 words - 5 pages Time Worn Tradition:A Comparison of Values in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"Families and society pass on traditions as a way of spreading certain knowledge or ways of life from generation to generation. People often consider traditions to be ancient, and therefore of the highest integrity and moral meaning. But what do you do when these traditions seem to fall short over time? It is the responsibility of every

Good and Evil in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path and Flannery O'Conner's A Good Man is Hard to Find

1327 words - 5 pages Abstract This essay will contrast a good and evil concept between two different stories. There is an obvious distinction that stands out between the stories; however they are similar in one way. In A Worn Path (Eudora Welty) and A Good Man is Hard to Find (Flannery O’Conner) the one thing that sticks out, is the main character in both stories. The main character in both stories being the grandmother. Grandmothers are of course an important

Comparing the Female Journey in Children on Their Birthdays and Welty's A Worn Path

1797 words - 7 pages The Female Journey in Children on Their Birthdays and A Worn Path   Male's and female's have been treated differently throughout all of time.  Race and looks have also been stereotyped.  In this paper I will be talking about two different girls with two different races, looks, and ages.  In the stories, "Children on Their Birthday's", and "A Worn Path", the two main characters are girls on a journey with only

Love and Healing in A Worn Path, by Eudora Welty

672 words - 3 pages The story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty tells the narrative of Phoenix Jackson, an extremely aged African American woman who lived in the Mississippi. Phoenix lives in a quiet rural area with her one and only grandson, whom she cares for. Two years ago her grandson swallowed lye and his throat has yet to heal. This torment sends dear old Phoenix out to the country into town to see the doctor to inquire about getting some more soothing medicine

"A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty

893 words - 4 pages Phoenix sacrifices herself for his grandson who is very sick and although she is very old and worn out, she still does the trip to get the medicine. I think that Social Education is related because of the way charity is expressed by the nurse in the end, she feels pity for the old woman and gives her 5 cents, something many people should consider to do now-a-days......Questions*Welty explains the worn path as being a metaphor for the habit of love

Symbolism and Themes in A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

791 words - 4 pages vast amounts of oyster sauce. Some days, my father and I would stroll the streets seeing what was out there for I was a curious. As a child, I did not understand why my Dad would turn heads on the street or how he had the ability to stop people in their tracks. My mother had married a outsider and in Hong Kong, an “ Sei Gwai Lo,” (blasted white person in Cantonese), was few and far between. I did not make blending in any easier by refusing to

A Worn Path By Eudora Welty

1421 words - 6 pages ” Cummings Study Guide . N.P., 2011.17 Mar 2014. Writing Rock, Editors. “ ‘A Worn Path’ Analysis Research Paper” Writing Rock. N.P.,n.d.. Web.17 Mar 2014. Schnaila. “Symbolism ‘A Worn Path’”. College Essay Help and Ideas. N.P., 5 Mar 2012. Web. 17 Mar 2014 .Garcia, Abv. “Symbolism in ‘A Worn Path’ by Eudora Welty”. Scribd. N.P., n.d Web. 17 Mar 2014 Noelle M. “Symbolism in Eudora Welty’s ‘A Worn Path’” Study mode N.P., Oct 2012. Web. 17 Mar 2014. Word Press editor. “An Analysis of Eudora Welty’s ‘A Worn Path’”. Word press. N.P., April 12,2013. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Similar Essays

Maya Angelou's Still I Rise Essay

1123 words - 5 pages This seminar paper will look at a poem written by Maya Angelou, Still I rise, 1978. An analysis of this poem will be provided, exploring the meaning of the poem and the language used to present a certain image to the audience. “Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture”(www.mayaangelou.com, 2014). This poem

Realism In Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

1169 words - 5 pages Realism in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" is a story that emphasizes the natural symbolism of the surroundings. The main character in the story, Phoenix Jackson, is an old black woman who seeks out to find medicine for her sick nephew. This story contains a motif, which is the continuous walking of Phoenix Jackson throughout her journey. She lives in the pinewoods and faces the challenging experience of

Analysis Of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise"

1885 words - 8 pages The poem I have chosen to write a detailed description and interpretation of is Maya Angelou's 'Still I Rise'. In analysing the chosen poem I will be considering the ways in which my own knowledge, experience and cultural identity might have an influence in the way I have read and interpreted the poem.This poem is very strong and powerful, as a reader I can sense this in the title of the poem, 'still I rise'. If the reader does not know the

Life Struggles Of Phoenix In Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

768 words - 3 pages Life Struggles of Phoenix in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path "A Worn Path," by Eudora Welty is a heartbreaking story about the heroic trip of an old African American woman, Phoenix. The readers won't find out right away the plot of the story or why Phoenix won't give up her exhausting trip to town-the conflict of this story-especially on a very cold day. The title, "A Worn Path," indicates that Phoenix has obviously walked down this path many