The Theme of “A Worn Path”
Instructor Abby Forster
In the short story “A Worn Path”, the author Eudora Welty, created a strong theme of undying love with an old woman and her grandson. The main character in this story is called Phoenix; she is an old woman that is narrated from the author trying to make a long journey down a worn path to bring her sick grandson medicine. She will not let anything get in her way from completing her mission and will not give up even though she is not a young puppy anymore. She is the last living relative to her young grandson and she keeps strong to fulfill his needs and keep him happy. The author uses great symbolism
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“The use of symbolic characters throughout the story is explained. The author provides a critical interpretation and offers different meaning behind several elements.” (Cited in Clugston, 2010) Phoenix is faced with getting old and losing her mind, she is very afraid of it, but still carries on with the strength of God with her. Religion plays a key role to keeping her mind and strength strong and even beat racism with the characters she met along the way and interacts with. It starts with a cold month in December for the setting that makes you feel compassion for the main character and brings a thought of stagnation and sleeep. The story’s author sets a picture in your head first, “The setting is rural, a cold, early morning in December in the South.” (Cited in Clugston, 2010) The main character is a Negro woman that is an old lady and has been through many life situations. The story uses settings to establish many points for the theme and details of wagon tracks used to tell us she is following a familiar path. “On she went. The woods were deep and still. The sun made the pine needles almost too bright to look at, up where the wind rocked. The cones dropped as light as feathers. Down in the hollow was morning dove- it was not too late for him.” )Cited in Clugston, 2010, “A Worn Path”, para.