A Worn Path Essay

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A Worn Woman In Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”, the main character, Phoenix Jackson, an older, black woman sets off on a long journey to the nearby town, Natchez. Along the way, Phoenix encounters many obstacles such as long paths, wild animals, and people. In addition, she also overcomes racial prejudice. Phoenix finally makes it to the city and receives the free medication for her sick nephew. She walks the worn path because of the love she feels for her grandson. In “A Worn Path”, the setting of story contributes to how the character, Phoenix, perseveres over many obstacles physically, mentally, and culturally. Physically, the setting provides several difficult obstacles that Phoenix must overcome to reach her destination in Natchez. Phoenix’s journey includes harsh cold weather, frozen snowy ground, long pathways, and other potentially dangerous barriers. One specific obstacle that Phoenix must overcome is safely traveling through “a barb-wired fence. There she had to creep and crawl, spreading her knees and stretching her fingers like a baby trying to climb the steps” (413). She is determined to arrive in town and is willing to go through any kind of obstacle. Another obstacle that Phoenix deals with is the sharp bushes and trees along the long paths. She says, “I in the thorny bush. Thorns, you doing you’re appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir. Old eyes thought you was a pretty little green bush” (413). She struggles to keep her dress from tearing from all the thorn bushes that she runs into. With her old age, the journey is very dangerous and foolish for Phoenix to make on her own. Through perseverance, Phoenix overcomes these physical obstacles to reach her destination to receive medicine for her beloved grandson. Phoenix’s old age magnifies the mental stress that made the long, harsh course even more difficult

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