A Worn Path Essay

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A’shanta Griffith Mrs. Meeks English 102 January 15, 2013 A Worn Path Eudora Welty’s O Henry’s Prize story, “A Worn Path”, told a tale of an old African America woman, Phoenix Jackson, who journeys from the woods of Mississippi to the town of Natchez, to receive free medicine for her sick grandson. Throughout her journey, she encounters obstacles, which various viewers perceived. However, other interpretations indicate the powerful meaning of life and death through her adversity. Her destination to town converts from a mission to an adventure as she strolls her way through the old worn path. The three main points that Welty tosses in her story: references from Egyptian mythology to Phoenix Jackson, references to slavery and racism, and the people she encounters, creates the curiosity and suspense in “A Worn Path”. Phoenix Jackson, as described in the story, suffers from intense fatigue and poor eyesight. The effects of her old age heighten her poetic view of the world, and the symbolism within the narrative. In addition, her first name, Phoenix, justifies her personality correctly. In the Egyptian mythology, the Phoenix, defined as a fiery bird that was sacred to the sun god, rises every five hundred years just to create a funeral pyre from its own nest and then emerges from its ashes; therefore underlying the theme of death and rebirth. Jackson embodies the Phoenix spiritually. The way Welty describes Jackson is symbolic to the mythological bird— she writes that Phoenix has “a golden color ran underneath [her skin] and the two knobs of her cheeks were illumined by a yellow burning under dark…” (Welty 138). In addition, references to the bird similarly allude by Jackson’s surroundings. Welty stated that the pine cones fell “as light as a feather” (140). She correspondingly includes in the fact that when Phoenix picked up the stolen nickel a bird flew by

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