Symbols of a Worn Path

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Symbols of A Worn Path

Mitchell Davis
Freshmen Comp
Critical Literature-Based Essay
Friday, March 12, 2009

Symbols of A Worn Path
Phoenix Jackson; an old negro woman that partakes on a journey to take medicine to her sick nephew that is off in another town. Phoenix is old and through the story there are many accounts that I think are symbolic to being of age. Being one with nature Phoenix Jackson is determined to travel through the forest to tend to her sick nephew.

The story itself was full of symbols, some that where more noticeable then others. Phoenix’s face was said to look like a tree with burning glow under it. Pretty much saying she was one with nature, that she was in touch with the natural side of things. And her name is Phoenix which is the same name of the mythical Egyptian bird that lives for 500 years, and then dies but for 500 years it regenerates itself. Her name symbolizes in her old age she lives on.

In her old age she is also in touch with nature as her tree trunk like face shows. There are many times she talks to the animals: “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animal!  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”(1) as in touch she is with nature, there are many instances that the forest showed signs of death when she seen a buzzard sitting on a dead tree, then she seen a scare crow. That also represents death, but she ended up dancing with the scare crow like she was dancing around death.

So far through the journey Phoenix came upon many different things. She even had a symbolic dream; which had her reaching for a marble cake from a young boy which symbolized her living for a longer period of time. It also had a simple reason, just her hallucinating because of old age. But along the way Phoenix came across a well that she drank from that meant longevity.

A lot of the...
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