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Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path begins as a simple story of an old woman walking through the woods to town. Phoenix Jackson, the main character, faces many challenges and
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“A Worn Path” The Story After seeing an elderly African American woman striding across the landscape with a strong sense of purpose, Eudora Welty wrote a story
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In "A Worn Path", Eudora Welty portrays a woman on a journey using words and phrases which contain a psychological connection to the story line.
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A worn path analysis A Mortal Phoenix During the 1930s, many African Americans in the South lives in the segregation
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A Worn Path In the short story A Worn Path, by Eudora Welty there is only one main character Miss Phoenix Jackson, who is in barking on a journey that would lead her
"A Worn Path" key characters:
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Phoenix's grandson does not appear in the story, but his medical condition is the reason for the old woman's.
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Learn from study guides, Homework Help, and quizzes on the eNotes iOS app.A Worn Path Homework Help Questions The story is set in the rural South during the time period. Phoenix Jackson lives in the country, "away back off the Old Natchez Trace," which was an early road that ran from Natchez, Mississippi.
As I've noted in other questions asked about "main conflict" in stories, I've always found that its easiest to deem the answers when looking at the Themes of a novel. The theme will tell you what.
READER RESPONSE OF "A WORN PATH" BY EUDORA WELTY
I have chosen my favorite short story which is "A Worn Path", written by Eudora Welty. The story is really interesting, about how an old woman manages to go through a hard trip, just to get her sick grandson's medicine. I am truly amazed by the main character in this story while I feel very irritated with the other character which has bad acts to the main character.
When I read this story for the very first, I found it quite confusing. Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" depicts about Phoenix Jackson's journey. At first read, this story seems to be about her, walking down a path while talking to animal and having hallucinations. It is sound very weird. However, as I went over the story again and again, I found it quite interesting. Then, I could understand it because this story is somehow difficult to be understood completely.
Phoenix Jackson. an elderly black woman, "an old Negro woman" (line 2, page 1), is the character that I like the most in this story. It is because she is a determined, strong-willed person. She has set out her journey over mountains, through fields, and across the creek, with one purpose in mind, to retrieve the soothing medicine that will give life to her only grandson. Even though the hill is like a mountain to break her will, "Something always take a hold of me on this hill - pleads I should stay " (line 25, page 1), Phoenix does endures the hardship and pain of climbing the hill and not let it keep her from making the trip.
Apart from that, she is also a very responsible woman. She walks to get medicine for her sick grandson who "swallowed lye" (line 25, page 5). She would go through the difficult journey fill with a lot of danger just to get the medicine. I think everyone wish to have a grandmother just like her. Her sense of responsibility indeed touches my heart that I can really feel she loves her grandson so much. I am jealous to the grandson for having a very kind-hearted grandmother as I do not have my grandmother anymore.
The character in this story which I personally dislike the most is the hunter. I think he is a very rude, disrespectful man. After running a dog off, he returns to Phoenix and points his gun right at her, "he laughed and lifted his gun and pointed it at Phoenix" (line 2, page 4), as if he knows he could kill the old black woman and no one would care. The hunter does not even stop to think that a small child, loved greatly by Phoenix, waits for her at home. But then I am really touched by Phoenix because she does not afraid at all for the hunter threats. She will survive through anything for her grandson.
The hunter also is being dishonest to Phoenix as he lies to her, telling her that he will give Phoenix some money if he has any, "I'd give you a dime if I had any money with me" (line 8, page 4), when actually he does have the money because Phoenix finds a nickel on the ground that fall out of the his pocket. I do feel really mad because the hunter does not help Phoenix, and even asks her to not continue her journey because he thinks that she embarks her long journey just to meet Santa Claus at the town. This shows that the hunter is indeed a racist.
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"A Worn Path" key themes:
Start your 2-day free trial to access our A Worn Path study guide, along with more than 30,000 other titles. Get help with any book. Start Free TrialThemes and Meanings
(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)
In her essay “Is Phoenix Jackson’s Grandson Really Dead?” Eudora Welty speaks of “the deep-grained habit of love” that is Phoenix’s motive for her trip: “The habit of love cuts through confusion and stumbles or contrives its way out of difficulty, it remembers the way even when it forgets, for a dumbfounded moment, its reason for being.” The central motive of Phoenix’s quest is true charity, the “deep-grained habit of love” for her grandson. This motive accounts for her apparent lapses in confiscating the lost nickel and in specifying how much money she would like when offered pennies for Christmas. Love also accounts for Phoenix’s courage, making it natural and unconscious, simply necessary rather than extraordinary.
Phoenix’s courage and true charity are underlined by her encounters with the young hunter and the clinic employees. When the hunter belittles her and boasts of himself because he walks as far as she does when he hunts little birds, with which Phoenix compares her grandson, because he can order his dog to drive off the strange dog that has frightened her, and because he has a gun he can point at her, the reader sees the truer courage of her heart—not merely in her lack of fear of the gun but in her whole journey as well. The hunter’s courage comes from his tools and youthful folly, Phoenix’s from her love. When the clinic employees remind her twice that hers is a charity case, expecting gratitude for what they give, they contrast sharply with Phoenix who dreams of and delights in bringing her grandson comfort and joy. In approaching true charity, in which love rather than self-praise is the motive, Phoenix achieves true courage. In Phoenix, Welty presents an ideal of goodness.A Worn Path Themes A Worn Path Homework Help Questions The story is set in the rural South during the time period. Phoenix Jackson lives in the country, "away back off the Old Natchez Trace," which was an early road that ran from Natchez, Mississippi.
In some stories and novels, the author clearly identifies himself as a voice in the narrative; The Scarlet Letter comes to mind as good example. In many works, a character within the story or one.
Welty, "A Worn Path" (52)
Take a look at the quest theme outline on the handout from class. Is Phoenix on a quest? Justify your answer. What is Welty’s message (theme) to her readers? What symbols do you find, and how do they connect to the theme?
You meet Phoenix as she begins a long quest to a town near her home. She is an elderly woman. Her eyesight isn't very good and she moves at a slow and steady pace along a very well used path. While on this journey she talks to herself giving herself advise while also cursing her old age. She makes this trip regularly according to the nurse to retrieve medicine for her grandson who swallowed lye years before.
Phoenix makes this trek alone to the surprise of those she meets along the way all for the safety of her grandson. She overcomes obstacles like balancing on a log to cross a stream, untangling herself from thorns, struggling through barbed fences. All seem small tasks to us but are extremely difficult for her to accomplish due to her age. Halfway through her journey she is confronted by a large black dog. When she tries to bat it away she falls into a ditch unable to get herself back up onto her feet. This could have been the end of her quest if it hadn't been for a hunter who found her and helped her. Even this meeting is a challenge the hunter questions why she is out walking such a long ways alone. And when the hunter drops a nickel she tricks him into making his dog chase the big black one away so she can grab it. When the man comes back he points his gun at her and asked if the gun scared her. When she answered no he commemorated her bravery and Phoenix is finally able to continue on her way.
Phoenix' name symbolizes her long life and perseverance like the mythical bird who was said to live a long life and burst into flames hen rose from it's ashes to begin again. There is also symbolism in the challenges she over came like the thorn bushes that could be a sign of hidden danger when at first glance.
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A WornPath In the story by Eudora Welty . “The WornPath ” Phoenix Jackson is a complex character who defies a stereotype in a symbolic way. Welty's story describe Phoenix as the o;d lady who had to travel miles a day in order to prove to the other characters that her grandson was not dead. Having to prove that her grandson was not dead Phoenix had three traits of characteristics. She was loving, determined, and persistent. These traits help her to overcome being stereotyped and ultimately her overcoming these stereotype made her symbolic in the journey, her name, and the time frame in which the event happen. As phoenix made her way to the town to get medication for her grandson who had swallowed lye two to three years ago (274). Phoenix walked miles every time which showed how much she loved her grandson. James states that “Phoenix is alive and has being successful in her errand carried out by love”.(70) Only a person who have love would travel miles without thinking what others assume the journey was truly about. In the article by James Saunders, “ The Eternal Quest of Weltys Phoenix Jackson” James paraphrase the line from the essay “ Is Phoenix Jackson Grandson Alive”. Stating the grandson plight was real and it made the truth of the story, which is the the story of an errand of love. James also refer to phoenix love as an endless love (69). Unlike James, Elaine Orr article “.
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Analyzing “A WornPath ” by Eudora Welty 1. The theme of the story is: Racism is an issue that never seems to disappear no matter how much people say it does. 2. The title is significant because it explains Phoenix’s journeys. If a pair of shoes are worn everyday, eventually they will become worn out. Phoenix took that path all the time to get medicine for her grandson. The fact that she always took that path wore it out and is considered a wornpath . 3. The story takes place in the south after slavery was abolished, roughly around 1920. This is because there are cotton and corn fields mentioned in the story. Cotton was a slave crop and it hints that the setting is in the south. The era is supported by the fact that Phoenix is an old black woman and that at first she didn’t get too much respect from the white hunter. 4. The significance of the season in the story is that it sets a sympathetic and sad mood. This makes the reader feel bad for Phoenix. The fact that it is around Christmas is also significant. Christmas is the time for family and all that Phoenix has is her grandson and she has to walk to get him medicine so he can survive. 5. Time is important in this story because Phoenix doesn’t have much time to get the medicine. She needs it as soon as possible because her grandson is very sick. So sick that she has to feed him like a bird.
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Priscilla Quinteros “A WornPath ” Perseverance is a valuable trait in life, especially in this day and age. It is important to achieve your goals, your dreams and everything else that is worth striving for obstacles such as, racial prejudice wanting equality and condescending towards the poor that make perseverance even more necessary. In Eudora Welty’s short story “A WornPath ” an old women named Phoenix Jackson takes a long trip to get medicine for her grandson who is ill from his throat. She perseveres in this story; Welty also used imagery to show the battles she went through. Welty uses the color black to show Phoenix Jackson obstacles are not just being poor it’s being black and poor “He ain’t scared of nobody. He a big black dog.” Phoenix relates herself and her race to the hunter’s big black dog she is basically saying she is not scared of anybody she shows her bravery and equality and to not be scared of danger or white people she is sticking up for herself. “Big dead trees, like black men with one arm, were standing in the purple stalks of the withered cotton field”. This shows the harsh times that Phoenix had to go through to become who she is today. The fact that the black men have one arm shows the idea of hardship, along with the withered cotton fields. Welty also uses the white hunter pointing the gun at her as imagery when the hunter points the gun at.
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A WornPath by Eudora Welty Copyright Notice ©1998−2002; ©2002 by Gale. Gale is an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc. a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Gale and Design® and Thomson Learning are trademarks used herein under license. ©2007 eNotes.com LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, Web distribution or information storage retrieval systems without the written permission of the publisher. For complete copyright information on these eNotes please visit: http://www.enotes.com/worn −path /copyright Table of Contents 1. A WornPath . Introduction 2. Eudora Welty Biography 3. Summary 4. Characters 5. Themes 6. Style 7. Historical Context 8. Critical Overview 9. Essays and Criticism 10. Compare and Contrast 11. Topics for Further Study 12. Media Adaptations 13. What Do I Read Next? 14. Bibliography and Further Reading 15. Copyright Introduction Eudora Welty's ''A WornPath ,'' first published in Atlantic Monthly in February, 1941, is the tale of Phoenix Jackson's journey through the woods of Mississippi to the town of Natchez. The story won an O. Henry Prize the year it was published and later appeared in Welty's collection The Wide Net. Since then, it has been.
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“A WornPath ” In the short story “A WornPath ”, Eudora Welty tells of Phoenix who is living during a time period of racial discrimination, prejudice, and segregation. Phoenix Jackson is a very frail African American woman whose eyes are blue of age; her skin is stained with patterns of countless wrinkles telling of her hardworking years, her face is worn and tired but illuminated a golden ray of light. The story tells of Phoenix slowly strolling down a threadbare road making her way to town for her ailing grandson, who needs pain killers for his throat. Despite the many obstacles that arise and Phoenix is faced with, she strives forward depending on her own perseverance, but willing to sacrifice her health throughout the long journey. Phoenix sets out during daybreak and doesn’t make it to town until half way through the day. When she finally arrives at the clinic, Phoenix is once again put up with another challenge that slows her down further. The clinic is two stories high; the first floor is for whites only and the upper level blacks. She makes her way up the long, narrow staircase and into the doctor’s office when then she is asked her purpose for coming. Standing dumbfounded and exhausted from her long journey, she could not remember why she has come all this way. A friendly and kind nurse, who knew Phoenix, came to her assistance, and after inquiring about her grandson.
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WORNPATH Eudora Welty brings the story, “A WornPath ”, to life through the use of the character Phoenix Jackson and symbols. This story detail’s an elderly Negro woman’s journey to town, on a mission of love. Phoenix Jackson, an elderly Negro women is frail, old, and had many handicaps, she lived during trying times, because of her race, and faced many challenges while growing up. The story is based on an elderly Negro women’s journey into town to get medicine for her sick grandson. Along the way she encounters physical challenges, obstacles and encounters danger. She climbed hills, crossed streams, crawled under barbed-wire fences, she faced dangers while out in the wilderness and a hunter who threatens her life with a gun. Phoenix’s ability to make the journey and overcome these challenges shows the dedication, devotion and the will power to endure hardship to finish her task. She made this journey weekly almost like a ritual. “Miss Eudora Welty often takes ritual action very seriously-especially the most simple and primitive rituals of home, or private one that comes from repeated performance of an action of love’,(Old Phoenix’s down the wornPath ).(Vande Kieft 70) 2 I believe the conflicts were put in the story to show us the inner feeling of Phoenix. She was able to endure.
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the story lets nothing stop her on her journey in the frigid December weather. In Eudora Welty’s “A WornPath ,” Phoenix Jackson is an unpredictable old Negro woman who is determined to acquire the medication for her “ill”grandson, and through all of the tough obstacles she somehow pulls through and reaches her goal, aside from her thoughts that ties into the story. It seems like she is living in denial and as if she has walked this whole “wornpath ” only to compensate herself and make herself feel better about the true situation she is in after the loss of her grandson. In “A WornPath ,” Eudora Welty portrays Phoenix as a very old and small Negro woman who may seem ready to pass through anything that is thrown her way, but the descriptions of some events contain psychological connection to the story line. The story itself is quite simple but the way Welty uses metaphors and irony is how the psychological connection comes into play. Phoenix may always seem to know what exactly is going on around her, but the way she describes certain events can lead us to believe she’s not exactly in the right state of mind. Her denial thoughts leave us to not know any of her upcoming reactions. First, Phoenix shows she is experiencing some Denial hallucinations such as when she describes the little boy bringing her a piece of marble cake and when she reaches out to take it.
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is a greater message than just a long trek. In the story "A WornPath " by Eudora Welty . an old woman whose human spirit is full of dedication, dignity and high morale overcomes tremendous obstacles of life in the name of love. Phoenix Jackson is the protagonist of the story who is an African- American woman, old and probably disabled. As one person says in the story "You must be hundreds years"(Welty . p365) addressing Phoenix. All of these characteristics are the evidence that the journey is not going to be easy, but her faith in God and strong relation with nature accommodate her on the way. She understands nature by designating it as a "guardian" when her dress gets caught in the bush. "Thorns doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass"(Welty . p364), says Phoenix while taking her dress carefully out of the bush. When she has difficult times such as fatigue and the fall in the bush, she addresses to God by reaching her hand to Him, but nothing reached down to her. It is not her time to leave the Earth yet, so God sends her a hunter, instead, for help. With her belief in God, her goal to finish her journey and her love for her grandson, she conquers all obstacles on the way. The most difficult obstacle on her way is a young white man who actually helps her stand up when she falls, but he still poses as a great danger to her because of his prejudiced beliefs against black.
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