The Theme of Determination in “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty Essay examples

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Everyday people encounter challenges that stand in their way of achieving their goals, but with sheer determination most accomplish their mission. In the short story “A Worn Path” written by Eudora Welty, Phoenix Jackson, the main character, has a mission to complete while confronting many challenges. One way to convey this idea is with the literary use of theme. The theme of a literary work is defined as the central idea, concern or message about life that an author wishes to convey to his/her readers. There can be more than one theme in a literary work. One of the major themes in Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path” is the sheer determination that Phoenix Jackson conveys via her actions. This short story centers on the…show more content…
Just like Phoenix Jackson, this story’s main character, most people find their way through challenges, time after time, because of their strong sense of determination. One of the first challenges that Phoenix encounters along her journey is the wild animals of the woods. Phoenix does not want anything, even “mother nature” preventing her from accomplishing her mission. As Phoenix Jackson begins her journey, she talks to herself and warns: Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals!...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. (1) With this statement, the author clearly depicts Phoenix’s determination to continue down this path despite the challenges of the wild animals. She is determined not to let anything come between her and getting to town for her grandson’s medication. Phoenix may be old and worn, but her determination motivates her to continue. At the beginning of the story, Phoenix is described as “Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin has a pattern all of its own numberless branching wrinkles…” (1). This description helps to verify that Phoenix is very old and this will be a difficult trip for a woman of her age. Therefore it is with sheer determination that Phoenix faces another challenge--having to cross a creek by walking over a log. This activity is a difficult

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