In the short story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, Phoenix Jackson is an elderly African-American woman who plans to go on a very difficult journey. This journey is not only arduous for Phoenix physically, but mentally also. Through the journey she succumbs to challenges such as crawling on the forrest floor despite her old age, and often loses focus from the purpose of her journey. The setting of the story creates a strenuous path for Phoenix to travel, and also enhances the mental strain Phoenix experiences on a daily basis. From the beginning of the story, the description of the setting alludes to a somber mood, “It was December—a bright frozen day in the early morning.
Old Pheonix is unquestionably determined, even against an unforeseeable future to retrieve her grandson's medicine. Yet as she speaks to all the animals and nature and has a delusional vision, the story raises several questions as she walks. When she mistakes the scarecrow for a real person and begins to dance with him, while the scene is humorous, it leads to doubt as to the sanity of the old woman. Old Phoenix even disquietly admits "'I ought to be shut up for good…My senses is gone. I too old.
"A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty is a short tale around an elderly African-American lady who embraces a well-known voyage on a street in a country region to gain solution for her grandson. Initially distributed Feb 1941 On an icy December day, an elderly lady named Phoenix Jackson advances along a remote way, portraying the adventure to herself as she goes. She crosses various types of landscape—slopes, woodlands, marshes, and fields—that test the quality and continuance of her old body. She experiences creatures and individuals along her, too. Some of these are genuine; others are fantasies, recollections, or traps of the eye.
In the story “A Worn Path,” by Eudora Welty, Phoenix Jackson’s characterization, symbolism/imagery, and conflict are shown while she is on a journey to get some medicine for her grandson. First of all, Welty represents characterization through Phoenix Jackson’s bravery and determination. The story states that, “She was very old and small and she walked slowly in the dark pine shadows”’ (275). As a very old woman it is not safe for Phoenix Jackson to be walking by herself in the dark woods rather should be at home. However this shows how brave Phoenix is going all this way when it is dark and going to go get medicine.
The story tells of Phoenix whom is travelling from her home “behind the ridge” in the direction of a town. During her travels, she encounters several obstacles in her path to include a log that must cross, a thorny bush that catches her dress, crawling under barbed wire, hallucinations of a boy holding a piece of cake, a buzzard that’s watches her, a white male hunter and a dog. Of her perils on this path, she finds herself fortunate to find fresh water and accidently dropped nickel by the white hunter. As she enters the town riddled with Christmas decorations, she encounters friendly people and towns woman willing to help tie a shoe lace for Phoenix since she was unable to do so herself in her elderly age. She ultimately reaches her destination only to reveal that she is at a medical office of sorts and is there to pick up medicine for her sick grandson.
However crossing the first threshold of overcome the first obstacle in the journey Phoenix acknowledges her hero’s journey has just yet begun. Roaming amongst the forest she states that no wild animal shall approach her from any direction. “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites... Keep the big wild hogs out of my path”. (Welty 275).
The story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty is about a woman named Phoenix Jackson on a long journey into town, but it 's much more than a regular walk into town. There are obstacles and struggle, but she never stops and lets no one get in the way. That journey represent the way she has lived her life. The way she fought for where she is today. Phoenix Jackson is the major in this story, and she is also the protagonist.
The reader can conclude that the short story takes place post civil war, and the reader can also conclude that Phoenix is really old; making it possible for her to have been a former slave in her early years. Therefore, one might assume that Phoenix has a form of dementia and that is why she gets lost in trances, and these trances are in fact triggered by past memories of her adolescent years in slavery. The author, Mary Ann Dazey, further explains that the lady in which Phoenix asks to tie her shoes once she arrives in the city has a much greater purpose to the story and history of Phoenix. Likewise, “Phoenix wants her laces tied not because she fears she will trip...she has walked the long path over the hills and through bushes and thickets and over the creek on a log with these laces flapping” (Dazey 92). Dazey then explains that Phoenix asked for her shoes to be tied once she arrived in the city as more of a “ritual” (Dazey 92).
In society, oppression and societal norms dictate the rules of survival, which draw out the most prominent traits that individuals use to their advantage to survive and grow. “A Worn Path”, written by Eudora Welty, represents this dynamic food chain built on the contrasts of white and black, or young and old, that motivate Phoenix, the protagonist, to find her true motivation and reason for living. To highlight the theme of being perseverant despite the encountering the clashing struggles in society within “A Worn Path”, Eudora Welty establishes and analyzes through symbols, the character Phoenix Jackson, an old and feeble colored woman oppressed by the obstacles of race and societal norms but achieves her life’s purpose by battling and accepting the conflicts on her path, displaying her trait of perseverance. Phoenix Jackson, despite being old and worn-down, displays her willpower of bringing medicine to her grandson by constantly going back and forth to town. The reoccurring symbol of time presents itself throughout the story to highlight Phoenix’s mechanical routine of trailing on the path full of obstacles.
I have to find food for you and the children,” said the rooster to the hen while showing a shack on the edge of the forest. "All right, but do not take time so long," said the hen. Then the rooster went to the edge of the forest to find food. The hen and three children waited for the arrival of the rooster. After hours of waiting for the hen began to worry about the rooster.