Analyzing “a Worn Path” by Eudora Welty

2062 Words Nov 9th, 2010 9 Pages
Analyzing “A Worn Path” 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 worn path.
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
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The dress represents Phoenix’s possessions. She is very careful not to ripe it because she doesn’t have many things. She cannot afford to get a new dress of new things that are essential. It can also represent the time when she was a slave and kept in one place. This could be because barbed wire is used to keep people from running away. The withered cotton fields represent what her life used to be. She was a slave and then the cotton grew, but because slavery was abolished the fields have withered. The scarecrow represents aging. This is because Phoenix cannot recognize what it is in the distance. In the story she says that her senses have gone. This is a sign that she is still aging. It can also represent happiness because she dances with it. The trees silver represent a safe place. This is where Phoenix feels like she can let her guard down and she feels that comfort. It also seems like a common place where she doesn’t even need her sight to get through that place.
11. The human nature that is seen when Phoenix encounters the scarecrow is happiness. She is glad that is a scarecrow and begins to dance with it. It seems like it is demonstrating life and Phoenix is happy that she is still alive at her old age. The scarecrow also scares away crows that usually symbolize death, so the scarecrow is scaring death away and Phoenix is happy because she is old and she might die soon. Nobody wants to…