Theme of a Worn Path by Eudora Welty

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Theme and Narrative Elements A Worn Path

In this paper I will describe and analyze the theme of the story ‘A Worn Path’, by Eudora Welty. I plan to give you a little insight of the symbolism used in this short story, and some information pertaining to the setting and character.

The theme which according to Clugston, R.W. is associated with an idea that lies behind a literary work. (Clugston, R.W. 2010). In my opinion the theme in this story blatantly relates to the characters old age and her fear of death. In my observation of this reading about her trying to make it to and from her destination, visualizing her thoughts and actions throughout the story made me feel as if she was weary of what she had to and would face by traveling this path being that is a motif of death, not knowing if she would make it back home with all the signs of death in her path. I also believe that this journey helped her to remember her grandson and get closer concerning his death.

The main character in this story was an old Negro woman by the name of Phoenix Jackson. “Her first name is liked to Egyptian myth of the bird that renews itself periodically from its own ashes.” (Bartel, Roland Summer 77). I think that Phoenix renews herself each year on the worn path to Natchez by getting over the death of her grandson and possibly coming to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be too long before she faced death herself.

The story dramatizes the thoughts of this woman as she makes her journey through the woods of the Natchez trace. (Lister, Rachel 2007.) Her imagination rescues her from the harshest aspects of her existence to make the portion of her bearable. (Bartel, Roland Summer 77)

This story is allegory because the setting, characters, plot, and other elements in the story are all symbols. (Clugston, R.W. 2010). The setting is on a worn path once traveled often by many people. Mrs. Jackson travels this path throughout the whole story. The path hasn’t been traveled as much;...
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