Like a Bird

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Tolbert 1
Ashley Tolbert
Mrs. Bassett
English 1101 2:00
November 20, 2009
Like A Bird
In the story “A Worn Path”, Eudora Welty compares the character of Phoenix Jackson to the phoenix, a mythological bird. The phoenix is a bird that lives for five hundred years, bursts into fire at death, and then is reborn from the ashes. Certain references, images, and events in the story show how Phoenix Jackson is related to the phoenix.

There are several instances in the story that prove she is like a bird. Phoenix Jackson is making a long trip to town. Welty mentions that Phoenix walks as if she might fall over. It seems as if she waddles like a bird. The trip she is making can be compared to a bird flying south for the winter. Welty also mentions that Phoenix is taping her cane; it sounds like a small bird chirping. This tapping can be compared to a bird cawing as it files through the sky.

Many images, in the story, that describe Phoenix Jackson also describe the phoenix. The colors of the phoenix are gold and scarlet. Phoenix is wearing a red scarf on her head. She also has a yellow burning in her cheeks. The burning in her cheeks can indicate that, like a phoenix, she is nearing the end of her life cycle. It is almost time for her to burst into flames.

There are also several events in the story that show Phoenix Jackson’s relationship to the phoenix. In the doctor’s office, Phoenix forgets why she made her trip Tolbert 2
to town. It takes her a few minutes to regain her memory. Phoenix losing her memory and getting it back is like the phoenix burning and then rebirthing itself. The point of the trip is to get medicine for her grandson. Like the phoenix’s healing tears, the medicine she gets will heal her grandson. Her grandson is the new phoenix left behind after Phoenix Jackson completes her life cycle and burns to ashes.

I think that in a way we all can be like a phoenix. We all can lead long, fulfilling lives and leave behind a legacy that will keep us...
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