Devotion in A Worn Path

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Brandon Riley
April 2, 2013
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Devotion in A Worn Path

In "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty an elderly African American woman named Phoenix Jackson picks a cold December day to make another long journey to a city to get medicine for her ill grandson. On the way this ninety-year-old woman faces many obstacles, both natural and man-made. Phoenix shows perseverance and willingness to sacrifice herself to help her throughout her journey, but it is the love for her grandson that truly guides and drives her to her final goal. “To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world (Quotes About Devotion).” Phoenix Jackson has a very large amount of determination. From the moment that she steps out on her journey, she must fight all the challenges that nature has made for her. From the very beginning there is the threat of attack by wild animals and Phoenix shouts “out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals!" courageously challenging them (52).  Phoenix is a very old woman whose fragile body isn't suited to make such a long journey. At one point when she is climbing up a hill, she states that it seems like "there is chains about my feet, time I get this far (53)". And yet she still trudges onward, stopping only once for a short break. On the way down the hill she gets caught in a bush, its thorns tearing at her finest dress. But she doesn't give up; she stands there untangling herself from the bush, her fingers busy and intent. According to Wikipedia, Welty is noted for using mythology to connect her specific characters and locations to universal truths and themes. After she has overcome this obstacle she faces yet another one. Across Phoenix's path lies a creek and across the creek lies a log, which is used as a bridge. It is hard enough for Phoenix to walk on flat and stable ground, so walking across the log is a dangerous challenge for her. Even though there is a large threat...
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