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It does catch fire from the sun making it burn up and from its ash, it is reborn. In the short story, the mission of Phoenix is to obtain the Medicine for the sake of the grandson. She is strong and persistent as she walks. She is a symbolic of phoenix (Chengges, 2009).
The description in the story about Phoenix Jackson is indicative of phoenix. She is described as having golden color under her skin, and her hair is tied in a red flag and eyes are blue due to age. It symbolizes her age and compares it with the bird, which matures to old age. In the whole novel, there is close reference to time and age.
Another symbolism emerging is the appearance of birds. She is being likened to a bird, together with her grandson. In the initial introduction of the story, she is carrying a small stick, hitting ground with it and making some noise like a chirping bird. She is also overprotective of her son like the one a bird watches over her young ones. The incidences occurring in the hospital after her arrival is symbolic of phoenix. She becomes numb, losing the ability to talk. The care team is perplexed and asks if the grandson is dead. The words bring her back to her sense and her face glitters, just as phoenix does. She starts to walk down the stairs, indicating a new life (Ma, 2010).
Essentially, the whole plot is all symbolic of the legend bird phoenix. Her behavior, description appearance, and all she does rotate around the symbolic bird. She is so caring to her grandson and can travel to any distance for his sake. Her journey portrays her as a selfless person. Her aim is just to help. She undergoes so many difficulties in aiding her grandson, just like the phoenix bird (Welty& Sarcone,
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“Symbolism in the Short Story Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1648281-symbolism-in-the-short-story.
It could also mean putting the reader in the shoes of the child who is beginning to learn about the wonders of life. For the child, the steps in the snow convey how he or she wonders how it is to be an adult “taking giant steps” (line 42). For the adult, it could mean remembering and appreciating how it is to be a child wondering how adults are capable of taking big steps towards what he or she wants to do it life.
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