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The author uses great symbolism “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.The major portion of the story simply recounts the journey of an old Negro woman into Natchez at Christmas time to obtain medicine for her grandson. "] The first four sentences of "A Worn Path" contain simple declarative statements using the simple past of the verb "to be": "It was December .
While much of the story's substance rests on the imagistic and symbolic use of language, the action of the plot also shows Phoenix in direct conflict with the outside world—a society run by white people who have little respect or understanding for her situation. "Phoenix encounters not mere difficulty on her path, but evil," argues Daly.] Neither Neil D. Jones in their recent articles [Isaacs, "Life for Phoenix," Sewanee Review, Vol. SOURCE: "They Endured': Eudora Welty's Negro Characters," in A Season of Dreams: The Fiction of Eudora Welty, Louisiana State University Press, 1965, pp. [In the following excerpt, Appel argues that " 'A Worn Path ' is an effort at telescoping the history of the Negro woman. One of my most successful assignments concerns the nickel episode of Eudora Welty's story "A Worn Path," which is included in many literature textbooks. [In the following essay, Saunders surveys various critical interpretations of "A Worn Path, " emphasizing the story's ambiguous meaning and exploring its thematic affinities with other works of fiction.] Of all the ingenious stories written by Eudora Welty over the past half century, it is perhaps "A Worn Path" that is most intriguing in terms of its ability to defy simple explanation.
A man hunting in the forest assumes that she is going to town merely "to see Santa Claus," while a nurse dismisses her as a "charity" case and offers little sympathy for the plight of Phoenix's sick grandson. [In the following essay, Daly responds to interpretations of Phoenix Jackson's character offered by critics Neil D. " He examines the role of folk tradition and religious faith in the story.] "Pageant of Birds," "Ida M'Toy," and the stories, "The Burning," "Livvie," and "A Worn Path," suggest that Miss Welty has a special sympathy and respect for the Southern Negro woman and that, like writers as various as Faulkner and James Baldwin, she seems to feel that the Negro's endurance in the South has had much... [In the following review, Trefman argues that the protagonist's name, Phoenix, has Christian, as well as mythological, significance.] In his discussion of Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path," (Explicator, June, 1957), William Jones identifies the central character, Old Phoenix, with the legendary bird of Egyptian folklore. [In the following essay, Bartel responds to standard critical interpretations of Phoenix Jackson's character in "A Worn Path, " noting "What concerns me about these discussions is that they treat Phoenix Jackson as a stereotype and allow the obvious archetypal significance of her name and her journey to overshadow the uniqueness of one of the most memorable women in short fiction."] I have found Saralyn Daly's interpretation of "A Worn Path" to be basically sound [Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. "The Naturals: Eudora Welty," in Savages and Naturals: Black Portraits by White Writers in Modern American Literature, University of Delaware Press, 1982, pp. [In the following excerpt, Cooley examines Welty's portrayal of Phoenix Jackson and argues that "what is ultimately so disturbing about 'A Worn Path' is its very innocence and beauty. [In the following essay, Walter briefly surveys critical interpretations of "A Worn Path " and offers a reading of Phoenix Jackson's character, focussing in particular on the significance of her faith.] Phoenix Jackson, the protagonist of Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path," is first described as coming along a path through pinewoods far out in the country near the Natchez Trace: SOURCE: "A Nickel and Dime Matter: Teaching Eudora Welty's 'A Worn Path'," in Notes on Mississippi Writers, Vol. The passage is an excellent test of a student's ability to see how facts can be fitted into... frequently falsifies Welty's portrayals of black-white relations in earlier eras. [In the following essay, Orr perceives Welty's implicit examination of the writing process itself in the text of "A Worn Path," and argues that the reader is challenged "both to unlearn and to relearn, that is, to enter the process of creation. In a relatively early essay entitled "Life for Phoenix" [Sewanee Review, Vol.
For example, she mistakes a scarecrow for a dancing "ghost" until she draws close enough to touch its empty sleeve.
A particularly tense episode occurs when she encounters a white hunter who appears friendly at first, but then makes a condescending suggestion that she is probably "going to town to see Santa Claus." When he inadvertently drops a nickel, Phoenix distracts him and manages to pick it up, feeling that she is stealing as she does so.
She then apologizes, claiming that her memory had suddenly failed her—that for a moment, she could not remember why she had made her long journey.
The story concludes with Phoenix's heartfelt description of her grandson, whose throat was injured several years ago when he swallowed lye.
"A Worn Path" Welty, Eudora The following entry presents criticism on Welty's short story "A Worn Path," first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1940, and later in A Curtain of Green, 1941. "A Worn Path" is considered one of Welty's most distinguished and frequently studied works of short fiction.
Deceptively simple in tone and scope, the story is structured upon a journey motif that incorporates a rich texture of symbolic meaning.
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 sun made the pine needles almost too bright to look at, up where the wind rocked. Down in the hollow was morning dove- it was not too late for him.” )Cited in Clugston, 2010, “A Worn Path”, para.
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.