Realism in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Essay

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Realism in Eudora Welty's A Worn Path Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" is a story that emphasizes the natural symbolism of the surroundings. The main character in the story, Phoenix Jackson, is an old black woman who seeks out to find medicine for her sick nephew. This story contains a motif, which is the continuous walking of Phoenix Jackson throughout her journey. She lives in the pinewoods and faces the challenging experience of walking through the snowy, frozen earth to get to the hospital in the city of Natchez. Phoenix Jackson is a very caring person, and is in love with life. Although she is very old, it seems that she has many years ahead of her. Eudora Welty brings realism into the story describing the realities of being …show more content…

The copper smell of her hair brings more realism of old age. When she stops to sit down under a tree, she dazes off and thinks that a little boy is giving her a piece of marble cake. She then snaps out of her trance and sees only her hand waiving in the air. This shows that very old people hallucinate sometimes, which is completely natural. The name "Phoenix", is the name of an ancient Egyptian bird that regenerates itself after 500 years and lives on for another 500 years. This old woman represents the phoenix, which lives on in her old age. Phoenix Jackson demonstrates her love of life as she talks to all of the animals within the forest: "Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animal! Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites. Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don't let none of those come running my direction. I got a long way" (87). She realizes she has a long journey ahead of her, but will do whatever it takes to help her nephew. Phoenix Jackson seems to be one with nature and brings peace and harmony to everything living in the forest. However, the forest has the aura of death. For instance, Phoenix spots a buzzard sitting upon an old, dead tree that resembled a black man. The buzzard represents death, but the old women made her way through the furrow and

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