Symbolism In The Burning By Eudora Welty

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Eudora Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi on April 13, 1909. Her parents were Christian and Chestina Welty. She attended high school at Jackson’s Central High School from which she graduated in 1925. Welty is considered one of the most distinguished graduates of the Jackson Public School system. After high school, she attended Mississippi State College for Women in Columbus and then went to study at the University of Wisconsin, where she received her bachelor’s degree. After this, she went on to graduate study at the Columbia University School of Business in New York. The Great Depression made it difficult for her to find a job so she made her living as a part-time journalist and copywriter for newspapers and radio stations around …show more content…
In The Burning, Welty uses a Venetian mirror as a symbol for knowledge. The mirror shows Delilah everything that she was too afraid to look at directly (Wall). When Delilah is commanded to hold the white horse’s bridle she examines the animal “that loomed there in the mirror” (582). The mirror is also a symbol for what is hidden from Delilah, like when Miss Myra was taken advantage of it was "outside the mirror 's frame” (582). As the sisters home was being torched to the ground, the great Venetian mirror was also being destroyed which symbolized the unraveling of the South’s economic system and the sisters blindness despite the large mirror (McHaney). Welty uses colors as symbolism, also. She describes the white soldiers as having “red eyes” which shows that they are evil. The proof that they are evil is shown through the way they treat the women of the house by taking advantage of them and then by burning their house, murdering a child who was not even old enough to walk. Through symbolism, Welty is able to give a new meaning to this story. There are many symbols that Eudora Welty has included in A Worn Path. One of the main symbols shown throughout the course of the story is how Phoenix was related to the mythological phoenix bird who sets itself on fire but rose from its own ashes. She made the journey to town every time her grandson needed medicine which represents her rebirth (Jones). Another symbol is shown when Phoenix imagines a young boy handing her a slice of marble cake. The cake is black and white and "when she went to take it there was just her own hand in the air." The cake represents people in the south integrating and everyone being equal but when it disappeared it showed that was just her dream for the future (Orr). The next time symbolism is used is when Phoenix climbs up a large hill and says, “Seem like there is chains about my feet.” This is a

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