Modernism In A Worn Path

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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 …show more content…

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. I the oldest people I ever know'" (851). The confusion and bewilderment reach a climax concerning her mental stability when she forgets her sole reason for the consuming journey entirely. While she has made the expedition many times, and is passionate about her purpose, the reader is left wondering if the purpose is even real. The ending reflects fragmentation and uncertainty, providing no definitive answer or conclusion as to whether her grandson is even alive, nor why he is alone with his unstable grandmother. The recurring doubt that pervades the story due to Old Phoenix's questionable sanity demonstrates and is the result of the themes of uncertainty and bewilderment in the short

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