For many decades, Eudora Welty’s genius has given rise to a community of critical thinking and debate. In “’A Worn Path’: The Eternal Quest of Welty’s Phoenix Jackson,” James Robert Saunders (1992) explores the various interpretations of Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” by fellow critics who seek to make sense of the subtle and explicit symbolism throughout the story. Saunders goes on to analyze proposed theories such as that Phoenix Jackson, the protagonist, was symbolic of a religious figure and that Jackson’s grandson is in fact dead, but concludes that these arguments lack or ignore evidence throughout the story and pertinent history. Instead, Saunders proposes that Jackson is an individual with special abilities that allow her to protect nature and the innocent through the power of love (Saunders). In my analysis “’A Worn Path’: The Path of the Phoenix,” I acknowledge the deliberate use of the setting and character background implemented by Welty and conclude that Jackson is “the embodiment of the hopes and struggles African Americans experienced in a post-Civil War era.” Consequentially, after analyzing Saunders’ article, my argument that Jackson is an emblem of African American evolution finds strong support in the three points Saunders makes: Jackson lives up to her name, protects the innocent, and remains determined even against all odds. First, Saunders and I emphasize the significance of Jackson’s first name. It’s easy to see the metaphor implied by Welty in
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Phoenix Jackson, the main character, is a small, old African American woman who goes on a journey for a purpose that is unknown at the beginning of the story. Although Phoenix has made this trip many times, something is different about this trip. Throughout her journey, Phoenix faces many obstacles and hardships. The author uses symbolism and, later, gives the reader awareness of Phoenix’s character while, hopefully, teaching a lesson about life. In “A Worn Path”, Eudora Welty uses the symbols of the name “Phoenix”, life and death, and the main characters’ age throughout the story.
In Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” the character Phoenix Jackson is introduced. Phoenix Jackson is an uneducated, African-American woman without any family besides her sick grandson. Phoenix is the hero of this story and fits the role well by delivering much-needed medicine to her grandson. Phoenix shows many distinct traits that reveal her to be a hero to her grandson. The heroic feats she accomplishes pave a path that leads to her satisfaction as well as protection of her most beloved asset, her grandson. Throughout the story, Phoenix’s humble, caring, and determined character is displayed through her actions.
In the stories “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty and “The First Seven Years” by Bernard Malamud characters persevere for love. In “A Worn Path” Phoenix Jackson, an old grandmother, goes through a long journey and overcomes multiple obstacles to get medicine for her sick grandson. Phoenix perseveres through emotional and physical trials because of her love for her grandson. Likewise in the story “The First Seven Years” Sobel perseveres for seven years of unfair pay to try and marry his love, while Feld perseveres to make his daughter's life better than his own. Both of these stories exemplify that humans will go to great lengths for the ones that they love.
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In this short story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, I will be analyzing symbolism. In the story “A Worn Path” the author uses symbolism to create a figurative explanation of the occurrences in her journey. This story has distinct symbols from myths, historical, and biblical events. The character Phoenix Jackson has various trials to go through on her way to town to get more medicine for her ill grandson.
A person’s journey can have symbols that come through everyone’s life. Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. In “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, Eudora describes symbols by using people that come through Phoenix’s path while she’s in her journey to Natchez. Eudora uses a nickel, marble cake, big dead trees, mistletoe, and a white hunter to symbolize Phoenix’s difficulties and obstacles that she had to go through in order to get to her destination.
In the short story, “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, the story's protagonist Phoenix Jackson travels from her home through the forest, to town where she goes to retrieve a remedy for her grandson's throat. Phoenix Jackson is an elderly black woman on a difficult, dangerous journey through the cold winter to reach the city. To maintain her balance through this journey and to ward off wild animals slinking through the woods, Phoenix walks with a thin cane made from an umbrella. She has made this trip many times before, however, this time around is much more difficult due to her aging body and fragile bones.
On an everyday basis people are encountering challenges that stand in their way of them achieving their set goals. However, with determination the vast majority will accomplish the mission they have set out to conquer. In the short story “A Worn Path” written by Eudora Welty in 1940, Phoenix Jackson, the main character has a mission in which she is trying to complete when she is faced with many challenges. This short story is centered on the challenges that are faced by an elderly African-American grandmother as she continues on her long journey from the secluded pinewoods into the town nearby of Natchez. She has one intention in mind when she begins, to get a medicine for her chronically ill grandson no matter what the challenges are that she encounters. The one way to convey this idea to the readers is with the literary use of theme. Some of the major themes in Eudora Welty’s short story is the determination that Jackson conveys with her actions, the aspect of agism, and racism. The most important theme in this story is the emotional and spiritual strength of Jackson which enables her to continue her journey.
Within every person lies a will and a flame of strength to achieve any goal, or conquer any obstacle in life. In Eudora Welty 's "A Worn Path", her main protagonist, Mrs. Phoenix Jackson, perfectly displays the strength that a human possess. Despite being of old age, poor and out of shape, Mrs. Jackson 's strength defies these odds on the worn path that she walks daily. Human strength is abundant in "A Worn Path", as the author shows the reader the reason why mankind is so strong. Welty demonstrates that love is what makes Mrs. Jackson, and everyone else, strong enough to move mountains. The strength of Mrs. Jackson exceeds more than normal, due to the condition of her beloved grandson, so much that not pain, death, or pride can kindle the fire of her strength.
Through the character of Phoenix Jackson in “A Worn Path” Welty produces a picture of an aging African-American woman in the Jim Crow South. In “A Worn Path” we learn of the hardships Jackson faces on her weekly journey for medicine to sooth the pain of her grandson. Welty conveys this these hardships by giving the reader insight into the physical health, the mental health, and the socio-economic status of Jackson.
Phoenix Jackson in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" has been compared to the mythological phoenix because of her birdlike qualities, and it's also been noticed that Phoenix possesses many of the same characteristics as Christ. But, what hasn't been addressed is the fact that Eudora Welty didn't just leave the symbolism to Christ alone. Welty also included many biblical allusions as well. Phoenix Jackson is not only symbolic of the mythological bird that rose from the ashes of its own demise or simply a Christ figure comparable to the Son of God, but she is also a biblical hero facing temptation and trials along her journey and succeeds unharmed and steadfast in her faith.
The story, “A Worn Path” is written by Eudora Welty and the main character Phoenix Jackson has a symbolic connection to a mythical bird known as a phoenix. Similarities between the main character and bird include their journey, physical similarities and a rebirth. The similarity that Phoenix Jackson and the bird from mythology share is that they are both on a journey. Phoenix’s journey is to go get her sick grandson some medicine.
Interestingly, Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path” stirs up the imagination of many people of what Phoenix Jackson looked like, were she lived, and what the path looked like that cold December morning. People like to talk about this story, but it would be doubtful if anyone would want to go back and live like Phoenix did. My Argument that Phoenix Jackson is driven by love finds strong support in Saunders article based on three important things Phoenix is characterized like the mythical phoenix bird, treated like a child of nature, and confidently determined. The similarities in Mr. Saunders article of, Phoenix Jackson being like the mythological phoenix bird exemplify the ideas in my essay “Come on Phoenix Jackson
Phoenix Jackson lived back in the country past the pines. She lived a lifetime of hardship. Her role in society is an old black woman in a white world, though she is not ashamed of her inferior position. She has walked a path periodically to get medicine for her chronically ill grandson who drank lye. On a cold December day, she shares one of her journeys to the hospital in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path." This specific journey is examined closely of an old woman full of dedication, dignity and high morale.
The short story "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty, is a descriptive story of a grandmother's difficult journey, for a grandson she loves. Her devotion to her grandson and wanting to provide him with a better lifestyle, was her motivation to overcome these trials. On this trip, Phoenix Jackson, the grandmother, struggles against old age, nature, and reality.