Symbolism in a Worn Path

1560 WordsAug 1, 20117 Pages
Symbolism In Life and Death Jennifer Candis ENG 125 Ms. AltfeldFisher June 13, 2011 The short stories A Worn Path by Eudora Welty and Used To Live Here Once by Jean Rhys both carry the theme, symbolism of a journey. In both writings the authors used people, places and things to symbolize something extra, expanding the stories into more than just what is read. I chose these stories because they both consist of strong symbolic references to life. Each story was written in a third-person point of view and consisted of a journey made by the main characters, which in both cases happened to be a black woman. Although in one story the character was already dead and in the other, fighting death, there are many similarities between the…show more content…
The giving of a gift that was used to purchase another is a generous symbol of what Christmas represents and was strongly displayed here. In Used To Live Here Once, the main character that is unnamed travels a journey similar to that of Phoenix Jackson. This woman too is African American and seems to be elderly based upon the way she reflects on her surroundings and also how she views children. The events that occur in this story seem to symbolize one’s life path and the decisions that may have been made throughout the course. The first obstacle that the woman faces is using stones to cross a river. She recalls the stepping-stones fondly and this is the first time you sense that she, like Phoenix, is familiar with the path that she has chosen. “She was standing by the river looking at the stepping stones and remembering each one.” As she remembers the stones, it seems that each one may have represented a point in her lifetime. For example, I feel that the “…safe stone where you could stand and look around,” may have represented childhood (R.W. Clugston, 2010). A safe place where you have not much responsibility and can take be a bystander until, you eventually grown up and have to make decisions for yourself. The author describes the day as, “a fine day, a blue day,” and the sky as having a, “glassy look that she
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