Phoenix Jackson In A Worn Path

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In Eudora Welty's short story "A Worn Path," an elderly black woman named Phoenix Jackson treks through the hilly backcountry to receive medication for her ill grandson at the clinic in town. Despite facing incapacitating conflicts, Jackson is unrelenting and perseveres the arduous journey for her grandson’s sake, as she has many times before. Jackson's fiercely devoted and determined character is exposed as she faces the struggles of debilitating poverty, advanced age, and the rugged physical environment. The severity of Phoenix Jackson's jarring poverty is blatantly evident. She has to walk to town instead of using a car. Her clothing is also noteworthy, as she is wearing thin clothes made of "bleached sugar sacks," and she uses a small cane "made from an umbrella." Later, with the hunter, she scrambles for the nickel he dropped. Jackson carefully grabs the money with "the grace and care they would have in lifting an egg from under a setting hen." Similarly, when she arrives to the clinic in town, she also resorts to the closest thing to begging. The attendant asks to give her a few pennies, and and in order to get more money Jackson stiffly replies, "Five pennies is a nickel." The employees at…show more content…
She gets caught in a thorn bush, and when she finally frees her clothes from the thorns, she is "trembling all over." The struggle of the grueling journey is demonstrated as she mounts a log "and shut her eyes" in order to cross a creek. She also has to "creep and crawl, spreading her knees and stretching her fingers like a baby trying to climb the steps” under a barbed-wire fence. As Phoenix departs from the hilly path, she thinks about the approaching area telling herself, "This is the easy place. This is the easy going." Her frangible body endures the demanding conditions as she has made the trip many times
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