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Native American literature. A Worn Path'' by Eudora Welty - Essay Example

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The author Eudora Welty was born on April 13, the year 1909, in the town of Jackson, Mississippi, to her parents Christian Webb and Chestina Andrews Welty. In her masterpiece of writing titled A worn path, the story opens on a chilly December morning. …
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Native American literature. A Worn Path by Eudora Welty
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Native American literature. A Worn Path'' by Eudora Welty

Download file to see previous pages... An elderly African−American woman by the name Phoenix Jackson was making her way, slowly while at the same time surely, through the woods, tapping an umbrella on the bare ground in front of her as she walked. Her shoes lay untied. While she tapped along, she spoke to the animals in the woods, convincing them to keep out of her way. As the path went up a hill, she complains about how difficult walking had become. It had become evident that she has made this journey many times before; she is familiar with all the twists and turns in the trail. She spoke aimlessly to herself. Her eyesight lay poor, and she unfortunately caught her skirt in the thorns on a bush (Welty 43).

"A Worn Path" is finally a simple story, though. The authors’ short tale of an old woman's journey to get medicine for her grandson is valuable simply as that and the starkness of its simplicity often lay undervalued. That same simplicity gave it the ability to support so many political and mythological interpretations. The author goes to the extent of another, far more personal analogy for Phoenix's journey: her own journey towards the creation of great fiction. Like Phoenix, one ought to work all his life to find his or her way, through all the obstructions and the false appearances and the upsets one might have had brought on oneself. This was with an aim to reach a meaning, and consequently too, like Phoenix, they had to assume that what one lay working in aid of his life, not death (Welty 58).
The first four sentences of "A Worn Path" contain simple declarative statements using the simple past of the verb ‘to be the name Phoenix Jackson, and the words she was very small and old. The note of simplicity thus struck is the keynote of the authors’ artistic design in the story. For it, is a simple story commonly facing reaction as simply beautiful? Nevertheless, it is also a story that employs many of the devices that can make of the modern short story an intricate and densely complex form. It uses them, but in such a way, that it demonstrates how a single meaning may be enriched using various techniques. Thus, in place of various levels of meaning, we have here a single meaning reinforced on several levels of perception. Additionally, there is no muddying of levels, or techniques. Instead, they lay straightforwardly presented, neatly arranged, and simply perceived (Welty 62). The other primary approach to this story has been to examine its mythological emphasis. Phoenix Jackson's name lies as a reference to the mythological phoenix. This is a mythical bird that lives in the desert for approximately 500?600 years. Afterwards, it sets itself on fire, only to rise again from its own ashes. From that moment henceforth, it lies as a popular symbol for immortality. Certainly, age plays a major part in the story. If we accept that the story is set in the authors present, that is, at the time when she wrote the story, then the "present" is 1940. At around this time, Jackson tells the scarecrow that his senses lay gone, and that he was already too old. He, the oldest people I ever know. In the instance during which the hunter asked her how old she was, she replied that there was no telling. However, if what she told the nurse was true, that she was too old to go to school when Lee surrendered in the year 1865, then she must have aged nearly a hundred years old. Yet, like the phoenix, she raised to makes periodic trips to Natchez to get medicine for her grandson (Welty 74). The plot?line follows Phoenix Jackson, who lies graphically described in the second paragraph, on her long walk into Natchez where she has to get medicine for her grandson. The trek is rather difficult, especially because of her age, and in the process ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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A Worn Path Eudora Welty
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