Essay about Eudora Welty 's A Worn Path

1386 Words 6 Pages
When a family member becomes ill many people will begin to sacrifice all they have to see the person well again. Phoenix Jackson, in Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path” not only gives up all she has but her dignity as well. Phoenix Jackson is an elderly African-American woman who survived the cruelty of slavery before and during the Civil War. She is described as plain, wrinkled, and socially unimportant. When her grandson becomes ill after swallowing lye Phoenix Jackson travels to the doctor’s office in town from her house in the country on a regular basis to retrieve medicine for her grandson. The medicine is given to her as charity and the office sees her as a nuisance. During the trip, she encounters obstacles and different characters who challenge her personality and integrity. As Phoenix Jackson travels the worn path for her grandson’s medicine she proves to be confident, eccentric, and caring. When Jackson begins her journey it is frozen December morning. She has a few fears and is wary of what she might encounter, but she pushes on. Confidently she states, "Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites. Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don 't let none of those come running my direction. I got a long way (Eudora, 1)." Even though she is an elderly woman Jackson does not allow the obstacles of the journey to keep her from completing her mission. At the beginning of…

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