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A Worn Path

  • Date Submitted: 08/21/2011 07:00 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.4 
  • Words: 697
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Eudora Welty writes an endearing story about a grandmothers love for her grandson in the A Worn Path. Symbolism and character make this story vivid and draws the reader to follow Phoenix Jackson along her precarious journey.
The theme of A Worn Path by Eudora Welty is the determination of love. An elderly woman named Phoenix Jackson takes a hard long walk into the city to get medicine for her ailing grandson. Throughout the story she talks her self through her struggles, fighting against nature to reach her destination. “The path ran up a hill. ‘Seem like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far,’ she said, in the voice of argument old people keep to use with themselves. ‘Something always take a hold of me on this hill– pleads I should stay.’” (Clugston, 2010, Chapter 6.3) At the end of the story we find out that she had forgotten why she made the trip, but that her love for her grandson had led her to where she needed to be (Clugston, 2010).
Phoenix Jackson’s character is revealed by her actions and her words as she talks to her self along the journey. We see courageousness in Phoenix as she hollers to the animals in the forest, “Old Phoenix said, ‘Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! . . . Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites. . . . Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don't let none of those come running my direction. I got a long way.’ Under her small black-freckled hand her cane, limber as a buggy whip, would switch at the brush as if to rouse up any hiding things”(Clugston, 2010, Chapter 6.3). Later in the story her character is further revealed as she picks up a nickel, dropped by another traveler and says, "God watching me the whole time. I come to stealing” (Clugston, 2010, Chapter 6.3). Phoenix Jackson knows it’s not right to take the dropped nickel, but she also doesn’t feel too bad about it, as it is something she needs for her grandchild (Clugston, 2010).
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