A Worn Path Theme

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“A Worn Path” was published in February of 1941, by Eudora Welty. Some other works written by Welty are “The Optimist's Daughter”, “Death of a Traveling Salesman”, and “The Robber Bridegroom”. Common themes and symbolisms seen throughout her short stories are racism, the deep south, journey, and lots of indirect characterization. Welty is from Mississippi, and most of her stories are set down south. “A Worn Path” is a short novel set in the south and introduces the journey of a young African American woman named Phoenix Jackson. She is heading into town to get medicine for her grandson that is never mentioned, but inferred that he is dead. Throughout her journey the old woman struggles with racism and suffers being called names such …show more content…
Perseverance can be viewed as the main theme in “A Worn Path”. Throughout the story, little, old, Phoenix struggles with racism. For example, “Whatever their attitudes towards the whites in the tale, most readers have found the story and its central figure warm and appealing; in her good humor, persistence and selfless devotion to another, Phoenix seems to everybody, some of the best aspects of the human spirit” (Evans). Although she is old, she still makes the journey to visit the nurses for medicine, not for herself, but for her ill grandson that the reader is not even told if he is alive or if Phoenix is delusional. Welty explains through her story, to never give up no matter the condition. If one has a goal and wants to achieve it, there should be nothing that stands in the way of it. Also, throughout the whole story she is called racist names by multiple people such as the Hunter, and the Nurse. This does not stop her during her journey, instead she just keeps moving forward, even after falling into a ditch after being scared by the Hunters dog’s. “A big black dog with a lolling tongue came up out of the weeds by the ditch. She was meditating, and not ready, and when he came at her she only hit him a little with her cane. Over she went in the ditch, like a little puff of milkweed” (Welty). This shows how fearless and daring she is. In relation to the theme, Phoenix does not let anything get in her

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