Literary Criticism In Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

Great Essays
TASK 1 : ESSAY
Discuss the application of relevant theories of literary criticism in the selected text.

Literary criticism from my point of view can be defined as the art or practice of judging and commenting on the qualities and characteristics of various literary works. Modern critics tend to pass down the concerns of earlier centuries, such as formal categories or the place of moral or aesthetic value. Some analyse texts as self-contained entities, in segregation from external factors, while others discuss them in terms of spheres such as biography, history, Marxism or even feminism. As the time passes by, the concepts of meaning and authorship have been explored and questioned through many aspects such as structuralism, post-structuralism,
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There are several symbols and references made during the course of the story to the legend of the phoenix. The phoenix, comes from Egyptian mythology. As with most myths, phoenix is a large scarlet and gold bird. The phoenix has been credited with amazing powers like the ability to appear and disappear in the blink of an eye and to heal, for example. Perhaps the most incredible power is the determination of the phoenix to travel to Heliopolis, the sun city, towards the end of its life. From her name and appearance to her behavior and the symbolism running throughout the story, Phoenix Jackson is the embodiment of the phoenix. Her name represents her strong determination and her willingness of doing something that even a young person would not do, due to her severe condition. Some of the literary criticism that can be found throughout the text of A Worn Path are, historical, social ( Marxism ), cultural and psychological criticism. Eudora has successfully applied all these literary criticism to make the story more …show more content…
Historical criticism as cited in the module of TSL 3012 is critics that examines the social and intellectual setting in which the author wrote. They consider the politics and social movements prevalent during the time period. The focus of historical criticism is on how literature is both a product and a shape of society. The historical events can be considered as the factor that shapes the society at that particular time. Thus, not only it is important to consider the historical situations under which a text was written, but also to note that each historical period is rife with conflicting versions of truth. In Welty’s A Worn Path, racism pervaded American society in the early 1940s as the Americans thought the African Americans were not on the same level as the Whites because they were brought to the country to be slaves and they could not accept the equality rights of the black society. This show the dominant of white power as racism has totally pervaded every aspect of life of the society back then. Since the white held the power in social and political subjugation, the fate of the African Americans were held by the Whites as the African American society has no power to oppose the government affairs. The story presents the subtle racism that blacks receive from the whites. Although in the entire story, we cannot read anything that suggests bigotry toward Phoenix Jackson, there are scenes where we can infer that the

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