Eudora Welty: Symbolisms And Symbolism In Phoenix Jackson

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Symbols are used everywhere and are used to represent certain things. We use symbols when you drive, show direction, and even when we use our cell phones. Symbols and symbolism in literature are similar. They both help the reader see something different other than what the plain text is telling you. Many authors use symbolism in their writing because it helps the reader see more of the story they are reading. For example, if an author says a character is angry, the reader cannot infer how angry that character is. When the author places symbolism such as the word red for angry then the reader can picture the character so angry that they turn the color red. Eudora Welty was an award winning author. She wrote several short stories and …show more content…
Her journey is taken during Christmas time which is an important time for Christians. In the story, “[Phoenix] is described as being elderly and near the end of her life.” (echeat 1). The theme is Welty’s story is self sacrifice. Just like Christ himself, she makes a long and hard journey and sacrifices herself for her grandson’s health. Welty was also very clever when she named Phoenix Jackson. The bird phoenix is an Egyptian bird that “is characterized as being a protector. The phoenix is a bright red and gold bird. Welty describes Phoenix Jackson as having ‘a golden color’ to her skin…[and] wearing a ‘red rag’ on her heard”. (Papermasters 2). Welty writes the way Phoenix looks by giving her the colors of what a phoenix bird looks like. In this story, Phoenix Jackson is a protector for her grandson that needs medication for his throat. The last name Jackson also has meaning; Jackson, Mississippi is the Welty’s hometown. During this time, Mississippi was a place where a lot racism took place. In the short story, a white lady helped Phoenix. Once Phoenix got into town, she asked a lady if she could tie her shoe while she explained the untied shoe “do all right for out in the country, but wouldn’t look right to go in a big building.” (Welty 37). During the time of the story, racism was high and for Welty to write the white woman has being helpful shows hope. Hope …show more content…
She found a coat and inside that an emptiness, cold as ice.” (Welty 27). She dances with the scarecrow because she thinks it’s a ghost that symbolizes death. She is happy that death has not come for yet especially with her old age. A nickel plays an important part of the story. She finds the nickel that the hunter dropped and picks it up before he notices and at the end of the story, the nurse gives her another nickel. Phoenix’s plan for the two nickels is to by her grandson a windmill. “The nickel represents Phoenix’s rebellion against the system under which she lives.” (Cusson 4). Blacks were very poor and since money was scarce they only spent on things they needed; not on windmills for entertainment. The nickel also represents poverty. It “serves as a constant reminder of her poverty and miserable social standing.” (Cusson3). A nickel is not worth much at all not even back in 1941 but to Phoenix it is a lot of money. She is grateful for the two nickels because she can now buy a gift for her

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