Freedom In Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

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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. “A Worn Path” includes many examples of symbolism, and each of them help to further the theme of endurance. Although a time period is not given, the…show more content…
The excerpt begins by stating, “It was December—a bright frozen day in the early morning.” This shows that Phoenix’s journey is not an easy one; it’s cold outside and early in the morning. Phoenix continues on the path up a hill. While she is walking along the path, she thinks, “There is chains about my feet, time I get this far.” These chains immediately portray thoughts of slavery, which would cause one to think of endurance. While walking up the path, Phoenix has had to overcome obstacles while it seems like death is in the form of chains around her feet. Even so, she continues onward to freedom. The scene continues while Phoenix passes trees and birds and animals, and suddenly she is crawling through a barbed-wire fence. The change in scenery indicates how Phoenix might be somewhat confused, especially because she is old. It also indicates how Phoenix’s journey was not one of peacefulness, rather, it was one of survival. Phoenix’s endurance on the journey is portrayed by this change, which helps to reveal the
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