Date: A Worn Path Eudora Welty Introduction ‘A Worn Path’ is a literary text by Eudora Welty. The short story was first published in 1941 in the Atlantic Monthly. The main character in the story is a black woman named Phoenix Jackson…
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The old woman’s eyesight is fast failing her but she had to make it to the hospital in the city for the sake of her grandson. Welty gave her work rich symbolic meanings in her attempt to pass her message to her readers. The title itself ‘A Worn Path’ is symbolic of the old woman’s sufferings and determination to have her grandson healed (Deakins 14). The woman must have made repeated journeys to the hospital without giving up on her hope that one day, her grandson would get well. In Phoenix, the writes captures the spirit of perseverance in desperation, the story presents the theme determination and courage through characterization of Phoenix. Nothing other than determination is what inspires the old frail woman to make repeated journeys to the city on foot to seek for a relief for her ailing grandson. Through the actions and treatment of Phoenix by other characters, the theme of courage becomes clear to readers. Eudora Welty has used different literary styles in achieving her purpose in writing the story. This paper shall focus on her use of symbolism, characterization, and setting to develop the theme of courage in ‘A Worn Path’. Characterization There are several characters in the short story in whose reception and treatment of the old Phoenix portrays her resilient character traits. She is determined to ensure that she gets the medication for he ailing grandson. On her way to Natchez city, the old woman with a failing vision encounters a White Hunter, Black American children, a pedestrian in the city, attendant at the hospital, a nurse at the hospital, and her ailing grandson whom she has lefty back at home. Her courage is seen when she is determined to go through all the hurdles that are presented by nature on her path that passes through the jungle. Phoenix says on her way “out of my way you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons, and wild animals….” (Welty para 3). When the old woman was trudging through the path uphill, she pauses and looks backs and says “Up through the pines. Now down through the oak.” (Welty para 5). The woman’s journey is largely tormenting but she is courageous that she would eventually reach the city to get medication for her grandson. When the White Hunter tells her to stay home where there is safety for her frail figure, the old woman says that she must reach Natchez city. Her main goal is to get to the city undeterred by the thorny bushes, steeps, and creeks of the jungle. Her abilities to keep trudging despite her numerous challenges brings her fourth as a very determined old woman who would not bow down to anything other than achieving her desires. Phoenix resilience helps the author in building the theme of courage in the story (Wampler para 1). Phoenix is treated condescendingly by the White Hunter that picks her from a ditch where she fell into. Due to the fact that Christmas holiday was just looming, the White Hunter presumes that the old black woman was making such a long journey just to lay her eyes on Santa Claus. He tells Phoenix “I know you old colored people! Wouldn't miss going to town to see Santa Claus!” (Welty para 19). This statement insinuates some kind of racial bias. The White Hunter is presuming that old black people are such obsessed with Santa Claus to an extent that the woman would just make many miles of a perilous journey just to see Santa Claus. Even when the White Hunter points his gun at her, Phoenix seemed unperturbed by the threat of the gun. At the clinic from
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With dementia disturbing her mind, she had episodes of dream-like periods and forgetfulness which could have endangered her life. Moreover, her travel was made more difficult by the fact that she was already old and has difficulty moving. For instance, when she laid down to rest, she would not have been able to get up and continue with her errand if a hunter did not pass by, who helped her get up on her feet.
The setting of a narrative refers to the time or place of the action in a narrative, whereas character is an imaginary person in a story. The short story “A Worn Path” (1941) by Eudora Welty offers convincing evidence to prove that setting and character are essential components of a short story, and these narrative elements contribute immensely to the overall depiction of the theme.
This essay will argue although A Worn Path is a work of fiction, the issues raised in it are pressing realities in contemporary American life. (Background) One prominent theme in the story is the perseverance of Old Phoenix in crossing so many hurdles on her way to the town hospital.
Is it effective in creating resonance with the reader? What other elements are used to reinforce this? Eudora Welty and Jean Rhys have used journey as a symbol in their works “A Worn Path” and “I Used to Live Here Once”. In literary terms, a journey is essentially a quest undertaken by the protagonist to search for something of personal significance.
Like the journeys that the two separate characters trod, and despite the differences in embarking on separate paths, readers were brought to experience the emotions felt by the characters: the ambiguity, the anxiety, the fear for breeding new and unfamiliar paths and by sharing the determination, courage, and happiness for achieving the goal initially pursued.
It can be assessed that the style of writing in both of the works are different and at the same time they can relate to each other as well. The poem has also used the symbolic style of describing the main themes and so has the short story. Both the writers have chosen the style to write their content in the most summarized form using the best words and symbolic language.
The divorce rate is holding at 6.8% of marriages out of 1,000 cases of marriage in the United States (CDC, 2013). Although this seems like a small number, it shows that marriages are still in trouble and that there is a need for counseling for many couples.
Therefore, although a fairly good short story, it is not a timeless piece of literature.
The story is about an African-American woman with virtually no financial means who is making yet another trip into the city of Natchez to obtain some medicine that will soothe her grandson's throat, which has been hurt because he had drunken lye two or three years back.
Genetically engineered foods, popularly known as GMOs, have elicited much debate. Proponents of the adoption of these foods have based their arguments on higher yields and less production costs. On the other hand, their opponents are cautious of the health and environmental effects that may arise from adopting GMOs.
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