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Symbolism Within In A Worn Path

1071 words - 5 pages

Symbolism is a literary device that uses objects or events that hides the even greater idea beyond what the text it gives you. For example, the bald eagle may seem like a fascinating bird, but to the eyes of an American the bald eagle represents freedom. Symbolism can be found throughout our everyday lives. Shoes have logos that are used to show what brand of shoes ones self is wearing, also money may seem like just paper, but it can also represent power.
In the short story, A Worn Path, the main character Phoenix Jackson ventures through the forest to get to her main destination Natchez. Phoenix Jackson is an old, little woman that is blind and needs to be carrying a cane due to her almost ...view middle of the document...

The Phoenix can represent renewal and longevity. Phoenix Jackson's feet can be represented as the difficulties and obstacles in her life being black in Post-Cilvil War America. In the article "'A Warn Path' Analysis," the author declares: “Phoenix wears her hair tied up in a rag and running underneath her skin in a golden color" (1). The author uses this to emphasize how some of Jackson’s physical appearances are similar to the Phoenix. Phoenix Jackson goes through all of these obstacles in the forest just to get medication for her grandson. Phoenix Jackson shows little to almost none concern to her, but yet she can do so much for her grandson. This is also similar of how she can also represent life & love. Jackson is full of life and joy; she often talks to the wilderness when she is out ion the forest. Her affection towards the wild animals and the wildlife shows how lovable and considerate she can be. Phoenix Jackson’s journey can be related to the journey of an actual phoenix. In “’A Worn Path’ Research Paper,” the author states “Jackson’s journey can be seen as the quest for racial equality by southern blacks.” During Jackson’s life time blacks were never given equal rights. Segregation was still prevalent during the time. Segregation can be found in the short story during the time when Phoenix encounters the Hunter, and also during the event when Phoenix enters town. The hunter shows her no respect, and all of the white town’s people show no appreciation.
The white hunter is a minor character, but yet he symbolizes many topics. The white hunter can represent racism because of the fact that he had showed no respect towards Phoenix, and he even showed no honor by even pointing a gun at Phoenix. The pointing of the gun can represent how slave owners would make their slaves work from days on end with no breaks. The gun represents power, and the overpowering of one that has nothing to defend one’s self.
Phoenix’s grandson is just a little known character. The only fact that is said about the...

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