A Worn Path Rhetorical Analysis

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In Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” Welty discusses the very lengths an individual is willing to go to in the name of love. The protagonist, Phoenix, an elderly black woman, takes a long and treacherous journey from the countryside to the nearest city, all in hopes of collecting medicine for her sick grandson. Welty’s characterization of Phoenix conveys a tone of perseverance; the character battles many negative forces of the wilderness throughout the story, but despite this, Phoenix’s reaction to her surroundings is one of a pleasant tone. In Welty’s “A Worn Path,” Welty uses contrasting diction and a lexicon that conveys layers of both dark and light storytelling, while Phoenix, a woman of great strength and tenacity, despite her age, defies all odds through her…show more content…
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. Nearly every aspect of the story would become riddled with fantasies and the misguided claims of a senile woman driven solely by the love of her grandson, and her fear for his
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