Eudora Welty 's A Worn Path Essay

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Seeds of an Allegory; A Cane, a Hunter, and a Worn Path

Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” is written about an old black woman named Phoenix Jackson who travels a long worn path to town where she can get medicine for her ill grandson. Many components of the story demonstrate a deeper meaning of the story. The symbols in the story could have been anywhere from Phoenix’s name to the ground she walked on, but some were more important to the underlying meaning of the allegory. Through the symbolic meanings of her cane, the hunter, and the long worn path, “A Worn Path” was able to show the will of the human spirit, despite conflicts caused by nature and society.

Phoenix Jackson was so old and frail that she had to walk with a cane just to get around. The cane represents the restrictions Phoenix Jackson experiences throughout the story, including her lack of money and sufficient living quarters, her impaired mobility, and the lye poisoning her grandson has that forces her to periodically take a long trip into town. As seen in the quote “she was very old and small and she walked slowly in the dark pine shadows, moving a little from side to side in her steps, with the balanced heaviness and lightness of a pendulum in a grandfather clock” it it was inferred that Phoenix cannot walk as well as she used to, given her old age, which makes it harder for her to make it into town. Furthermore, because Phoenix Jackson lives with little to no money, she hardly has the supplies to get…

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