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Phoenix Johnson and the Worn Path - Essay Example

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Phoenix Johnson and the Worn Path Different expressions in literature are also able to create a reflection of the main themes and points which the author is interested in providing to the reader. In “The Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, there are specific associations with the main theme and characterization…
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Phoenix Johnson and the Worn Path
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Phoenix Johnson and the Worn Path

Download file to see previous pages... The character is able to become symbolic of the meaning of the overall story and what it means to change the worn path into something new as a transition. The first aspect of the character that is recognized as a part of the worn path is the name. Phoenix is a symbolic meaning of a bird that dies then rises through the ashes. In the story, Phoenix is seen as walking the same path continuously, always which is done for the illness of her grandson. This is combined with the routines and expectations that she has as well as the reoccurring events that everyone recognizes about the character. The idea of the phoenix then remains present in the story as the worn out path of the character continues until it dies. When Phoenix falls into a ditch, there is recognition of the character dying to the old and worn out path, which then leads to rising to the new. The presentation of the character as a bird that is not going to walk down the same path again then becomes a central part of the recognition of the struggle that the character goes through as well as the problems which are associated with making a transition out of the old and into the new. The name of Phoenix which holds the symbolic meaning with the character is followed by the actions which are taken and the expectations that the character has. The worn path that Phoenix walks down is also symbolic of the mentality of the character and the difficulties which she continuously encounters throughout her life. The never – ending struggle of the character and the ability to overcome this is one of the highlighted aspects of the character. For instance, when walking the worn path, Phoenix states that the journey makes it “seems like there is chains on my feet, time I get this far” (Welty, 143). The statement is one that is not only based on the difficulty of the path but is representative of the path that Phoenix continues to travel and rise through each time that something occurs. The characterization of Phoenix then becomes associated with the struggle that she continues to go through and the ability to overcome the difficulties which she has faced. The recognition of the character that has the chains on the path and which continues to struggle is not only based on the one struggles of the character. Phoenix is an African – American that lives in the south and which has lived through the Civil Rights movement and the changes toward blacks and whites in the nation. The representation of the character then moves into a deeper aspect not only of one character that has walked the worn path. It also relates to the struggles of those living in the South at the time and the continuous need to have bravery, the ability to overcome and to chase things away if they appeared as a threat. For instance, when Phoenix meets a hunter, he holds a gun to her to shoot. The response is not one out of fear. “ ‘Doesn’t that gun scare you?’ he said, pointing it at her. ‘No, Sir, I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day” (146). This phrase and several others show the courage and the understanding of the meaning of the character as the worn path. The character is one that has seen guns, struggle and other difficulties based on the social order of the time. The development of the character is then to show how these struggles have allowed the character to overcome. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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