In this short story “A Worn Path” ( Eudora Welty, 1941), I will describe the theme of the story and identify two of the literary elements that contribute to the theme of this short story. The reason for her journey is unknown for most of the story, after reading the short story, we find that the story is of an old black woman on a solitary journey to get medicine for her grandson. The story takes place in the south, in the woods of Mississippi.
In the short story “ A Worn Path”, we are introduced to an old African-American woman, named Phoenix Jackson who wears a red rag tied around her head, while wearing a dark striped dress, and can’t seem to keep her shoes tied. The story opens on a chilly December morning in the woods of Mississippi, where Phoenix Jackson is making her way, slowing but surely making her way through the woods, tapping an umbrella on the ground in front of her as she walks and talks to the animals in the woods telling them to stay out of her way. Now and then there was a quivering in the thicket. Old Phoenix said, "Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! . . . Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites. . . . Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don't let none of those come running my direction. I got a long way." Under her small black-freckled hand her cane, limber as a buggy whip, would switch at the brush as if to rouse up any hiding things.(Clugston, 2010). As the path goes up a hill, she complains about how difficult walking becomes. It becomes evident that she has made this journey many times before, she is familiar with all of the obstacles in the trail.
The love, hope and strength that Phoenix Jackson has for her grandson is the reason that she keeps going despite the cold. Love is a small word with a huge meaning, especially unconditional selfless love. We discover that Phoenix has traveled such a long distance, not for pleasure for herself, but... [continues]
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