In this story an elderly black woman, Phoenix, takes an arduous trip by foot into Natchez, a town in southern Mississippi. It is most probably the early s; the Civil War is spoken of as having occurred, but long ago.
The story won an O. Since then, it has been frequently anthologized. At first the story appears simple, but its mythic undertones and ambiguity gives a depth and richness that has been praised by critics. Welty has said that she was inspired to write the story after seeing an old African-American woman walking alone across the southern landscape.
Along the way, Phoenix encounters several obstacles and the story becomes a quest for her to overcome the trials she faces, which mirror her plight in society at large. Her father was an insurance company president.
She attended Mississippi State College for Women for a year and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in with a major in English literature. After graduation, the Great Depression hampered her ability to find a job in her chosen field, so she worked as a part-time journalist and copywriter at newspapers and radio stations near her home in Mississippi.
She also acquired a job as a Works Progress Administration WPA photographer, a job that took her on assignments throughout Mississippi.
The experience of traveling throughout the South in order to observe people gave her the impetus to begin writing stories. Her fiction reveals these deep ties to the Southand though often set in Mississippi, her stories reveal truths about the human condition that transcend region.
Henry Awards, two American Book Awards, and numerous others, Eudora Welty has established herself as one of the most admired fiction writers of the twentieth century. Plot Summary The story opens on a chilly December morning.
An elderly African-American woman named Phoenix Jackson is making her way, slowly but surely, through the woods, tapping an umbrella on the ground in front of her as she walks.
Her shoes are untied. While she taps along, she talks to the animals in the woods, telling them to keep out of her way. As the path goes up a hill, she complains about how difficult walking becomes.
It becomes evident that she has made this journey many times before; she is familiar with all the twists and turns in the trail. She talks aimlessly to herself. Her eyesight is poor, and she catches her skirt in the thorns on a bush. After walking across a log to traverse a stream, she rests.
She imagines a boy bringing her a slice of cake but opens her eyes to find her hand in the air, grasping nothing. The terrain becomes more difficult, and at a certain point she thinks she sees a ghost, but it is only a scarecrow.
When he hears that she is attempting to make it into town, he says it is too far and tells her to go home. While he momentarily turns his attention to his dogs, she snatches the nickel from the ground.
When he returns, he points the gun at her and asks if it scares her. After she tells him that it does not, he leaves her and she continues walking. Finally she reaches Natchez, where the Christmas bells are ringing and the town is festooned with decorations. She asks a white woman to tie her shoe, and the woman obliges.
The attendant assumes Phoenix is a charity case. Phoenix remains silent as the nurse asks her questions. She explains what the nurse already knows, that her grandson swallowed lye and now needs medicine periodically to soothe his throat.
His grandmother is the only relative he has left, and she makes the trip to town to receive medicine that soothes the pain.
The Hunter The hunter encounters Phoenix after she has fallen into a ditch, the unfortunate result of an encounter with one of his dogs. He helps her up, demonstrating his willingness to assist a person in need. But his subsequent conversation with her reveals his disrespect for her and biased attitudes towards African Americans in general.
When he learns that she intends to walk to town, he assumes Phoenix is not able to make the long journey and he tells her to go home; he has no qualms about issuing the order. In a second instance of disrespect, he tells Phoenix that he would give her a dime if he had one, unaware that Phoenix has already picked up the nickel that fell out of his pocket.
In a third example, he points a gun at her face and asks if it scares her. He is amused by the fact that it does not, further emphasizing his insensitivity.
Phoenix Jackson Old Phoenix Jackson is the protagonist of the story.
She is described in vivid colors, suggesting her lively nature: Old Phoenix sees the Natchez Trace as an obstacle course, one that she tolerates with a fair sense of humor, despite her lapses into senility.On the surface Eudora Welty’ s short story “A Worn Path” is an account of an old black woman’s journey from Old Natchez Trace to Natchez.
In fact, some readers may . 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.
"A Worn Path" is Eudora Welty's story of an old African Her sense of responsibility. dominates her personality, overcoming her encroaching senility, her poor eyesight, and her difficulty in.
walking. The story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty tells the account of Phoenix Jackson, an elderly African American woman who lived in the Mississippi. Her account was about her journey from her quiet rural life to town in order to get the medicine for her beloved grandson who, two years ago, accidentally swallowed lye.
His. ”A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty Essay Sample. The story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty tells the account of Phoenix Jackson, an elderly African American woman who lived in the Mississippi.
A Worn Path by Eudora Welty - Download as Word Doc .doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. thus, A Worn Path describes a tough journey endured by an old, helpless Negro woman named Phoenix Jackson in the jungle spurred by her unconditional love towards her grandson.
Phoenix has a strong sense of responsibility.