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A Worn Path Eudora Welty - Research Paper Example

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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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A Worn Path Eudora Welty
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Download file to see previous pages 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 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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