Analysis Of Eudora Welty's Writing Style

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Eudora Welty is a well-known Southern author, whose fiction has a strong sense of place and her fiction is located in the Old South. In the short story, “The Worn Path,” Welty explores and develops the archetypical journey of Phoenix Jackson who is walking to Natchez, Mississippi. In relating the journey, Welty grounds her story in the reality of the Old South, uses a device that swings between action and individual contemplation, and uses a plot that is structured around community rituals. As in most of her fictions, Welty firmly grounds “The Worn Path” in reality. Marilyn Arnold in her article “Eudora Welty” published in MagillOnLiteraturePlus states that every writer needs “a deep sense of place” (5). Arnold goes on to state Welty’s fiction “is deep rooted, like its creator in the South” but that “for all its down-home southern flavor,” it “attest to the universality of her vision” and her belief that “her subject is not the South, but humanity” (5, 6). The reality of Welty’s South is existence of strict racial segregation. Even though the Civil War ended slavery in 1865, the relations between the dominant white population and the African Americans were strictly separate and demanded that each group recognized their place and remain in their place. This reality is graphically demonstrated in “The Worn Path.” Phoenix Jackson is a very old former slave. She knows her place in the very ordered society of the Old South. She is free to be herself as long as she is not around the white population. She can laugh, dance, and relax. However, the moment she is thrown into the presence of a white person, she changes and becomes guarded. When Phoenix meets the white hunter on her way to Natchez, she becomes careful. When the hunter points his gun at her, “she stood straight and faced him” (Welty 993). When the hunter asks why she is not afraid, she responds that “I seen

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