Over time, our perceptions of freedom change. Escaping a cotton field may have been considered freedom in the nineteenth century, yet it could not be done without endurance. While our perceptions of freedom change, it’s likely that our ideas about how people obtain freedom do not change much. In “A Worn Path,” Eudora Welty describes a woman’s journey along a path to freedom, and she describes the obstacles that the woman encounters along the way. That woman, Phoenix Jackson, is able to overcome these obstacles despite her old age. In “A Worn Path,” Welty uses symbolism, setting, and characterization to reveal that the humans are capable of endurance when faced with obstacles such as death or small bushes.
With the dawn of the twentieth century came the realization that many traditional notions about civilization, culture, warfare, and even the world were entering into unknown territory. Through various sequential and cumulating events at the beginning of the era, including World War I, a new wave of thinking emerged. Characterized in literature with themes of bewilderment, uncertainty, and the apparent meaninglessness of life, Modernism reflected the devastation and insecurity left by the Great War that swept away the optimism and idealism of the past. In the short stories "In Another Country" by Ernest Hemingway, "The Corn Planting" by Sherwood Anderson, "The Far and the Near" by Thomas Wolfe and "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty, these themes
Eudora Welty’s “A worn path” is a short story illustrating the determination of an old woman going on a ritual journey for getting a medicine for her grandson and facing each challenge with success. The story shows the protagonist of Eudora Welty's short story "A Worn Path" an elderly woman named Phoenix Jackson. Welty’s description of the old women realizes on her usage of three artistic tools: imagery, foreshowing, and symbolism. The Three artistic tools will show how “A worn path” of an old women journey begins to achieve her goal.
In the short story, “A Worn Path,” Eudora Welty introduces an elderly, African American, woman named Phoenix Jackson, whom for two or three years has made a long quest to town to get medicine for her ill grandson. Initially, Phoenix must overcome many obstacles to reach climax of her journey. Eudora Welty uses these obstacles to demonstrate the theme of her story, which is that Phoenix’s ambition/hope was the leading role in her preserving.
Literary Analysis on “A Worn Path” The short story “A Worn Path,” written by Eudora Welty, depicts the journey of an elderly black woman named Phoenix Jackson who walks from her home to the city of Natchez in need of medicine for her sick grandson. Phoenix experiences many obstacles that do not interrupt her trip, but rather make her a stronger woman for overcoming them. In A Worn Path, Welty illustrates her journey through several key symbols: the name Phoenix, the path, and the windmill. Phoenix shares a name with a creature which reflects her indefatigable nature, her constant striving towards her goal, as well as her unflagging optimism and high spirits (Goodman).
It is like a path. Phoenix’s path represents her life as an older woman with her life difficulties getting for her age. In the story, Phoenix has time to appreciate the beauty of the day and gives to herself some rest, but also she fights with her mind and her physical decadences that did not help her to finish her path. “Finally, trembling all over, she stood free, and after a moment dared to stoop for her cane. “Sun so high!"
The story “A worn path”, author Eudora Welty uses metaphorical phrases to describe the main characters journey to the city. Phoenix Jackson shows determination, endurance, and bravery throughout the story and wouldn’t let anything slow her down.
In “A Worn Path”, enduring is the word that best describes Phoenix because she undergoes issues with her mind, an arduous journey, and a racist man. First of all, Phoenix perseveres through all of the mental problems that she has. The narrator says, “She did not dare to close her eyes, and when a little boy brought her a plate with a slice of marble-cake on it she spoke to him. "That would be acceptable," she said. But when she went to take it there was just her own hand in the air” Phoenix obviously has issues when it comes to her mind. She imagines ridiculous scenarios and believes that they are real. Luckily, these mental problems do not cause her to give up on herself. Additionally, Welty writes,
Throughout the story, it is made clear that Phoenix has poor eyesight and can be described as senile which we see in her personal description of mirages and misidentification of objects during her journey into town. Because of the third person narrative, the reader is given insight into the actual occurrences of the story as opposed to the story Phoenix herself might have told. When Phoenix stumbles upon a scarecrow she exclaims “Ghost… who be you the ghost of” (Welty 3). Because of the readers knowledge as to what the true nature of this “ghost” is, it is clear that Phoenix herself has difficulties discerning the reality from the illusion. If “A Worn Path” were to be told from a first person point of view, through the eyes and mind of Phoenix herself, the reader would be witnessing a story told by the epitome of an unreliable narrator.
Literary Analysis: “A Worn Path” Eudora Welty uses many literary elements in her short story, “A Worn Path,” to allow the reader to stay engaged throughout its entirety. Although there are many literary elements present in this story, there are three that Welty focuses intently on. She uses elements such as imagery, symbolism, and motifs to draw the reader’s attention. It is important for an author to write their story in a way that can be understood but also enjoyed. In “A Worn Path”, Welty focuses in on the elements, such as, symbolism, motifs, and imagery and writes a story that has great meaning and can be discovered by the reader when looked at carefully.
Some references even suggest Phoenix may have once been a slave; such as the chains the old woman feels on her feet as she climbs the path uphill. Racial inequality is unmistakably clear when the old woman falls in the ditch and is confronted by the white hunter. One would believe the hunter calling Phoenix Granny to be a harmless reference to her age; however, Granny is a term coined by southern whites in the thirties and forties and refers to a single elderly black woman: a granny is an old black woman who takes care of the white
Times A’changing Everyone has a tradition, a routine they follow and they might not even realize it. Be it the path you walk to school or the way you tie your shoe. If you learned it or have grown up doing something a particular way it is unlikely that it would change. Its human nature to veer away from change.
In the story “A Worn Path” Phoenix Jackson was an old African American women. She takes a small journey that can be an allegory of someone's whole life. The journey had hard and easy parts, beauty, danger, and confusion. But her quest was to get the medicine for her sick grandson who laid at home waiting for her return. Phoenix was a delusional yet heroic, caring grandmother who would stop at nothing to get what she needed.