Eudora Welty 's `` The Worn Path `` Essay

1094 Words null Page
Doing What it Takes: Phoenix 's Determination in "The Worn Path"

Eudora Welty sets "The Worn Path" in the middle of the twentieth century at a time when African Americans were not treated as equal to white Americans. Welty tells the story of Phoenix, an old African American woman, who journeys through the wilderness to get medicine for her sick grandson. For most people the journey from the country to Jackson, Mississippi would not be very difficult. However, because Phoenix is so old and because of some racist attitudes of people she meets, the trip is a difficult one--she must overcome many obstacles to reach her destination. Determination and will enable Phoenix to accomplish her goal (getting the medicine) and without these qualities, she probably would not have achieved it. Phoenix becomes a great example for people who face problems and illustrates the qualities necessary to succeed when barriers block success. In "A Worn Path" Eudora Welty uses symbolism and characterization to show that determination and will enable people to survive in life no matter how difficult the struggle is.

Welty uses many nature symbols to help illustrate her strong will and perseverance. These symbols occur at several points in the story and help show how Phoenix struggles against nature to get what she wants—medicine for her grandson. One of the first obstacles she runs into is the hill. Every time she comes to climb the hill, Phoenix says it seems like there are "chains about…

Related Documents