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Symbolism of the Journey Stories - Research Paper Example

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The paper "Symbolism of the Journey Stories" states that the comparative analysis of two literary works, a short story and a poem, with a similar theme of exploring a journey, was presented. Literary works provide the readers with the opportunities to understand the message intended by the authors…
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Symbolism of the Journey Stories
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"Symbolism of the Journey Stories"

Download file to see previous pages The poem written by Robert Frost was first published in 1916 (American Poems, 2011). The discourse hereby aims to proffer a comparative analysis of these two literary works with similar theme of exploring a journey with the disparity being one of an unknown and untrodden path and the other of trekking a familiar and regular expedition. A Worn Path The short story centers on the journey embarked by an old Negro woman named Phoenix Jackson. At the start of the story, the setting was depicted as a cold December morning when the main character initiated her journey towards a yet, undisclosed location. The description of the path that Phoenix took was vividly and slowly revealed through the choice of words and language used by the narrator. Told in a third person point of view, readers are informed of Phoenix’s encounters and challenges through the figurative illustrations and the characters she met along the way. The contents of the short story are diverse and intricate starting from being informed that the main character was in the midst of a journey; to encountering different challenges due to the landscape of the trail; and finally delving into the purpose of her journey. The end of the story revealed that the journey was specifically made to avail of a medicine for an ill grandson, whose throat was chronically damaged. The word count actually reached five and a half pages of single-spaced typed narrative discourse with approximately less than 3000 words. Its form, being a short story, confirms the contents as being illumined by defining that “a story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is” (Flannery O’Connor, American short story writer; cited in Chapter 4, p. 71). The revelation at the end of the story on the purpose of the journey unfolded only at the climax. The style is evaluated by looking into the point of view (third person), the setting (cold December morning trekking a familiar but challenging path) and symbolism (“a literal identity but also stands for something else” (Short Story: Theme and Symbolism, n.d., p. 108). The story unfolds different symbols, manifested by the main character and the events that she encountered. First, her name Phoenix, symbolizes the “mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The Phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration” (Mythical Realm, 2011, p. 1). The description and depiction of Phoenix’s character in the story parallels the vivid illustration of Phoenix as a mythical bird with her colorful clothes, the red rag tied on her head, and a dark striped dress with a bleached sugar sack apron donned among her outfit. The physical traits, in conjunction with her acumen in scanning the challenging landscape beyond wild animals, thorny bushes, a barbed-wired fence, uphill and downhill paths, and encountering a stranger with fierce dogs, confirm her steadfast courage and determination to reach the planned location. The location was initially revealed as in town which was surmised to be far from her home.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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