Eudora Welty's Short Story 'A Worn Path'

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Roman Reshetnev English 202 February 12, 2013 Writing Assignment #1, Draft #2 How does the Eudora Welty use a symbol of a worn path to communicate the themes in the short story “A Worn Path”? “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty introduces us to Phoenix Jackson, an old woman, who is traveling through the worn path many years to get drugs for her grandson. Later we learn that her grandson has died, but because of her old age she continues thinking that he is alive. At the beginning of the story it is hard for reader to understand the reason of Phoenix Jackson’s perseverance go on dangerous path. However, despite the fact that climax comes near the story, the symbol of a worn path, which communicates many themes of this short story, doesn’t let reader be bored. By describing a length and danger of the path Eudora Welty communicates the themes of obstacles people face while trying to reach their goals, economic inequality between black and white people during 1940s years in the Southern U.S., and…show more content…
The path’s obstacles and the way old Phoenix copes with them symbolize Phoenix’s love for her grandson. Despite Phoenix’s old age, she was ready to do anything to help him. She expresses her intention to get drugs for grandson, saying, “I bound to go town…The time come around”, in the dialogue with a white man (869). Moreover, as the nurse said, “She doesn’t come for herself – she has a little grandson. She makes these trips as regular as clockwork” (870). Because of these facts, there is no doubt that she really loved her grandson and tried to help him as much as she could. She was forced to go through the worn path every time she wanted to get soothing medicine. It is hard to imagine people who would do this in such old age if he or she didn’t love a person for whom he or she did it. This way, the worn path symbolizes Phoenix’s love for her

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