Eudora Welty A Worn Path

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In Eudora Welty’s short story, “A Worn Path”, Phoenix Jackson, the old black woman who journeys to town, is reborn whenever she has a goal to work towards. Throughout the story, Phoenix faces challenges along the way to town. However, after she reaches the end of her well-traveled path, Ms. Jackson forgets why she made the journey and seems to distance herself from the people around her. As soon as she has a purpose again, the old woman is reinvigorated and ready to work towards her goal once more. This change of mood shows a rebirth in Phoenix when she realizes her purpose, similarly to the mythological phoenix, who is born out of its own ashes. Phoenix has a resurgence of determination after she remembers why she made her journey for yet another day. Compared to her commitment during her trip through the woods, Phoenix is considerably less motivated once she actually reaches the end of her path, as seen when she sits in the hospital building: “With her hands on her knees, the old woman waited, silent, erect and motionless, just as if she were in armor,” (Welty 5). However, when she remembers why she actually made her journey, Phoenix is ready to move towards her goal with the most effort she can give. She informs the attendant and nurse at the hospital of her realization, “‘This is what come to me to do,’ she said. ‘I going to …show more content…
Once she has her goal, she is ready to work tirelessly towards getting the best for her grandson. Her commitment towards teaching her grandson about things he does not see while in the woods and getting medicine for him give Phoenix a reason to keep pushing forward and to ensure that she stays alive. Through Phoenix, her name, and her sense of purpose, Eudora Welty is presenting the idea that working towards goals give people a reason to keep going, even if that reason is for somebody

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