You are about to be taken on a journey as I tell of two short stories, “A Worn Path” and “I Used to Live Here Once”. One story will keep you in suspense wondering about this little old ladies purpose of walking a dark path, while the other story seems to be taking the character back in time to find she is only having an after death experience. As you read of the two stories, you will find they are similar in the fact that both have a symbolism of death.
The short story “A Worn Path” surrounds the character Phoenix Jackson. The setting of the story is in December on a very cold day early in the morning. The content of this story suggests Phoenix Jackson is a very old woman who walks from the old Natchez Trace into Natchez at Christmas time to get medicine for her grandson. She takes the journey every year having at first made the journey to save the life of her grandson; she now follows the worn path each Christmas season to save herself. Considering the fact no one ever see the grandson gave the assumption that he is dead. This explains why toward the end of the story she over-contemplates when the nurse asks her whether her grandson is dead. In this story, the author immediately identifies Phoenix race as an African American. It also describes her clothing and her movement and pace. “She wore a dark striped dress reaching down to her shoe tops, and an equally long apron of bleached sugar sacks, with a full pocket: all neat and tidy, but she was afraid of falling over her shoelaces” (6.3, para 2). She moves in a slow pace being careful to look straight ahead.
Throughout the journey to get medicine for her grandson, Phoenix encounters some difficulties. One difficulty would be when her path ran up a hill. She admits the fact that she hates this part of the trip when she makes the statement “Seem like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far.”
One interesting theme in this story is when it speaks of the...