A Worn Path essay

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“A Worn Path” Essay Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" is a story about an old black woman who must hunt medicine for her sick nephew. Phoenix Jackson, the protagonist, must travel from the pinewoods where she lives and attempt to fight through the blizzarding cold to reach the hospital at the closest neighboring city of Natchez where she intends to find help. In this story, Welty exemplifies the concept that people can, and do overcome the trials and tribulations of life with the lasting hope and strength provided by loved ones. Here, it is the jeopardizing health issue of her nephew and ultimately her love for him that keeps her going. Welty illustrates this concept with her use of symbolism, dialogue, and conflict of the characters. Right at the beginning of the story, we are introduced to the protagonist, Phoenix Jackson. Here, already, Welty has given her a name of symbolic meaning. The name Phoenix is symbolic of an ancient Egyptian myth about a sacred bird that burned itself by flying to the sun, rose from the dead, and was reborn. Likewise, Phoenix Jackson is described as an elderly woman who is old and wrinkly, but has a golden hue to her skin which is reminiscent of the ancient bird’s feathers. Also, symbolically, her journey to the hospital is also similar to that of the journey of the phoenix to the sun. Welty uses this symbolism to better convey the characteristics of the protagonist. Throughout the story we are able to see some of the obstacles that Phoenix has to overcome. First, the environmental hardships of the weather are difficult. Naturally, if you are old and are unable to hold yourself up then here the snowy, frozen earth is undoubtedly a conflicting force for Phoenix. She must travel in a handicapped state in a nearly impossible setting. But even more so, if the antagonizing weather was not enough, other characters that she
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