A Worn Path - 7

Topics: Eudora Welty, Jackson, Mississippi, Short story Pages: 3 (1380 words) Published: December 4, 2012
A Story That Contains 2
To begin with, “A Worn Path’’ is a story rich in mythological tales and figures, the most prominent of all being the phoenix. “A Worn Path” is a story that emphasizes the natural symbolism of the surroundings and, also, there are many Christian symbolic and historical interpretations. Throughout the story, there are many references made about the legend of the phoenix. There are many other links we can make if we look at events or objects from different angles and it can push our reflection further into the story. First of all, the legend of the phoenix talks about a bird having a lifespan evaluated between 500 and 1000 years. When it’s time to die approaches, it flies to Heliopolis the won of the sun where it builds a nest and sets it on fire. It is from its ashes that a new phoenix arrires. Depending on the origin of the myth, the colour of the bird changes a little, but in most of them, the phoenix had a reddish plumage with a pinch of gold. In “A Worn Path”, the protagonist, Phoenix Jackson, can be closely related to the legend of the phoenix in many ways. First of all, at the beginning of the story, the author, Eudora Welty describes Ms. Jackson as follows: “but a golden color ran underneath…Under the red rag…an odor like copper.’’(Welty 165) Also, Welty says that Jackson was very old. With this physical description, there was no doubt that the author referred to the beautiful bird. Also, we can say that Jackson was like the mythical bird, because she rises from the ashes of the Civil War to lead a long and apparently fruitful life. The uphill and downhill phases of the path correspond to the beginning of life towards its prime and the decline towards death. Then, the old lady goes to what she calls, “the city of light’’, which represents, in the legend, the long trip that the bird travels toward the sun. When she arrived at the hospital, she became stiff and sat down in a military way. It is like she was at the end of her life and...
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