Phoenix Jackson Archetypes

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“The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary,” which has not been more so than for Phoenix Jackson whom every year due to her love for her grandson embarks on a dangerous one-day journey to the city of Natchez. In this 1941 short story, “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, protagonist Phoenix Jackson, an elderly African-American women, whom despite her visual impairment, old age, memory loss and senility determines to procure medicine for her sickly grandson. Regardless of Phoenix Jackson’s limitations and negative experiences, she continues her journey undeterred. In order to characterize Jackson, Welty utilizes symbolic and situational archetypes to portray her as a strong, persevering, courageous, and loving women throughout her journey. Situational archetypes …show more content…

The death and rebirth archetype comes back in to play when Phoenix descends. The death aspect is her dealing with the absence of her grandson, but being reborn ready to face a new life without him having reached acceptance. The journey was not about her grandson but about Phoenix reaching her deeper self. The death of her grandson, changes the interpretation of the story. Even though her grandson is dead, Jackson makes the journey every year to get his medicine in order to honor him and not forget. Whether Phoenix makes the journey because of the trauma causing her to relive experience, or because she is in denial, or if she does it to honor him, it does not change the fact that Phoenix persevered in order to reach the goal of acquiring the medicine. Phoenix makes it to her destination despite having to walk through a dead and dangerous land in order to keep the memory of her grandson alive because she is a strong and courageous women with a deep love for her grandson that was not altered simply because he is gone from the physical

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