The Worn Path

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Angela Brown Professor Amber Brooks Hybrid English 1102 October 07, 2011 In the story by Eudora Welty, “The Worn Path” Phoenix Jackson is a complex character who defies a stereotype in a symbolic way. Welty's story describes Phoenix as the old lady who had to travel miles a day in order to prove to the other characters that her grandson was not dead. Having to prove that her grandson was not dead, Phoenix had three traits of characteristics. She loved her grandson, determined throughout her errand, and persistent to accomplish her goal. These traits helped her to overcome being stereotyped and ultimately her overcoming these stereotypes made her symbolic in her journey to the doctor’s office. In the story by Eudora Welty she states that “Phoenix went to the town to get medication for her grandson who had swallowed lye two to three years ago” (274). Phoenix walked miles every time which showed how much she loved her grandson. James Saunders states that “Phoenix is alive and has being successful in her errand carried out by love” (70). Only a person who has love would travel miles without thinking what others assume the journey was truly about. In the article by Saunders, “The Eternal Quest of Welty’s Phoenix Jackson” James paraphrases the line from the essay “Is Phoenix Jackson Grandson Alive”. Stating the grandson plight was real and it made the truth of the story, which is the story of an errand of love. James also refers to phoenix love as an endless love (69). Unlike Saunders, Elaine Orr article “Unsettling Every Definition of otherness” did not think that Phoenix journey was about love for her grandson. Rather, Orr quotes “Phoenix purposes arise out of unreserved love for her grandson” (59). Contrary to critics and assumption Phoenix remain determine and persistent as she continue her errand. Having knowledge of the path was not the only thing that

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