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Worn Path

  • Date Submitted: 05/04/2011 10:00 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.9 
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A Worn Path
Tasha Sanders
ENG 125
Steve McKenna
April 25, 2011

A Worn Path
In the story A Worn Path, Eudora Welty shows an old woman living in a time period where racial prejudice is rampant and out of control. Phoenix Jackson is a grandmother whose only motivation for living is to nurture her grandson back to health. The strength of love may make people do or say unusual and implausible things. The central idea of this story is that love can empower someone to overcome many life-threatening obstacles. The idea is shown when an old woman conquers all odds against her to show her everlasting love for her grandson. Throughout the story Phoenix Jackson has to overcome many types of obstacles that hinder her in her devotion to help her grandson.
One of the main hindrances that stand in her way is the physical aspect of her age as well as the journey. Phoenix Jackson is very weak and feeble because of her old age so that makes her long journey very strenuous. Another physical obstacle is that she has to weave and duck under a barbwire fence. Her feeble body cannot handle such tasks at her age. The third hindrance she must defeat is that she must cross over a log that lay across a creek. This requires concentration, skill, and patients. Even people whom are twice as young as Phoenix have trouble doing such things. Not many emotional forces other than love are strong enough to give power to an old woman who is living only for one reason. She realizes that if she were to die then the fate of her grandson would be condemned.
Phoenix is definitely an "outsider" in the way that she is treated by whites, as this episode demonstrates. It is clear that the white hunter points his gun at Phoenix on a whim, and also it is clear that Phoenix is not surprised by this behavior.

For instance, Phoenix is never afforded the dignity of her own name; she is not addressed as Mrs. Jackson, or even Phoenix. The white people she encounters, even the strangers, call her "Grandma"...

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