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Symbolic References In Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

1788 words - 8 pages

Symbolism is used in many ways and writers use symbolism to “enhance their writing.” It can give their work “more richness and color and can make the meaning of the work deeper.” In literary work the actions of the characters, words, action, place, or event has a deeper meaning in the context of the whole story. The reader needs to look see the little things like a dove symbolizes peace, or like the red rose stands for romance. Mostly everything can have a symbolism meaning to it. For instance the flag symbolizes freedom and the stars represent the states. Even some signs are symbols like when a beaker has a skull with a bones placed like an ‘x’ behind it symbolizes that it’s toxic or bad. When people see the red light when driving that’s a symbol to stop, the yellow to slow down, and the green to go.
In the short story, A Worn Path, an elderly colored women named Phoenix Jackson walks a path to get to a town called Natchez. Phoenix is old and small woman that wore a dark striped dress with untied shoelaces and she carried “a thin, small cane made from an umbrella,” [Welty 1274] with that she kept her balance. Phoenix went though many obstacles like getting tangled in a torn bush and crossing a creek by walking on a log that was over it. After that she sat down to get some rest and saw a little boy that gave her marble cake, but that ended when she reached up for it and the boy and cake were gone. Then she got up from where she sat and maneuvered through a barbed wire fence then passed through an old cotton field and went into a field of dead corn. While in the corn field Phoenix runs into a scarecrow which she thought was a man then a ghost. When she gets out of the maze of corn and keeps

on walking and comes across a spring she has passed many times before; this spring water tastes sweet because of the sweet gum there. After that while she was walking Phoenix runs into a black dog that while trying to hit it away only made her fall into the ditch. She waited for a while till finally a white hunter came across and helped her out. While talking to him a nickel falls out of his pocket and when he is distracted she slowly picked up the nickel. She knew it wrong not to tell him but she had a reason why she kept it she even thought God was watching her because of a bird that flew by her. When the hunter came back he jokingly pointed the gun to Phoenix, she didn’t know if he knew but she stayed quiet and still, and never mentioned the nickel. Then after some farewells Phoenix kept her way to the town till she finally saw the bright Christmas lights. Before she got to her destination she asked a women walking on the streets to tie her shoes because Phoenix needed to go us some flights of stairs to get to the doctor’s office. When Phoenix got there she just stood at the door while the attendant kept asking what she wanted, but...

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