Symbolism In A Worn Path By Eudora Welty

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Symbolism is a key element in the story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty. By implementing certain things into the story that contributes to the journey of Old Phoenix, the reader is able to better comprehend and make sense of why Phoenix goes on her adventures. After reading, the reader will get to know the purpose of her trips, and the kind of character Old Phoenix is. There are many different obstacles Phoenix faces, and many objects within her trip that symbolize her journey of life.
One of the main symbols in this story is the worn path itself. The path represents the life of Old Phoenix. It consists of Old Phoenix’s everyday journey, and all that is in her path. The forest is full of danger, wonder, and curiosity. Old Phoenix is an old
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The windmill represents the reoccurring events of Old Phoenix. On this trip, she mentions the things that are familiar to her, letting us know that this is not her first time going on a trip into town. Welty tells the reader that, “Old Phoenix would have been lost if she had not distrusted her eyesight and depended on her feet to know where to take her” (Welty 60). A contributor to this never-ending cycle is the fact the Old Phoenix has dementia. She is often forgetful and does not remember very much. For example, her grandson has passed away, yet she still makes trips for medicine to help cure her sick grandson. Having been mentioned at the end of the story, the windmill may cause the reader to believe that going on a trip to fetch medicine will happen again. One of the nurses mentioned that, “she makes these trips just as regular as clockwork,” (Welty 76) allowing us to conclude that Old Phoenix will probably be seen again by the nurses for the same …show more content…
A phoenix may represent hope and seek for redemption. Phoenix is on a mission to save her grandson who has taken a drink of lye. By going on this trip, she is hopeful that she will find something that will save him and make him feel better. She says, “He is not able to help himself. So the time come around, and I go on another trip for the soothing medicine” (Welty 90). She is hopeful that she will heal her grandson because he is all she had. A phoenix is told to rise over and over again, and that is what Mrs. Phoenix does in this story; she takes this worn path often to retrieve the medicine for her grandson. Because she has dementia, she forgets that her grandson is really not alive any more. Therefore, Old Phoenix will constantly be seeking for something. Her trips in search for the medicine in hopes of healing her grandson’s throat may, or already has, become a regular thing.
Eudora Welty gives purpose and meaning to Old Phoenix’s journey by implementing a deeper meaning within her writing. Because she writes using symbolism within the path, the windmill, and the name phoenix, the reader is able to understand the reasoning of her journey. Welty does not simply describe a woman taking a casual walk in the woods, she describes a woman who has gone through so much and gives her life purpose. For example, symbolism allows people to relate to their own lives, and gives a story a greater meaning beyond what

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