A Worn Path: Analysis

  • May 1, 2002
  • 958 Words
"A Worn Path"

The short story, "A Worn Path," is about an old Negro woman named Phoenix who travels a long distance to a town to get medicine for her grandson. The trip is extremely long and tiresome for an old lady but she feels that it is her duty to get her laboring grandson the needed medicine. Throughout the story, Phoenix encounters dreams, harassments, small triumphs, jolts to her pride, some flights of fancy to console her, a cause to be ashamed, and a moment to dance and preen.

In her journey, Phoenix experiences dreams, harassments, and small triumphs. She experienced a dream when a black dog popped out of the weeds by a ditch and advanced toward her. She later on found herself in the ditch. That is when her senses drifted away. She said, "Old woman, that black dog come up out of the weeds to stall you off, and now there he sitting on his fine tail, smiling at you." The quote shows how she was not right in the mind after the dog attacked her. Her senses drifted away causing her to experience a dream in which she talked to herself and meditated about her life. Although the young white hunter who helped her get out of the ditch was sort of disrespectful, there was another person that one might find more disrespectful. The harassments she faced throughout her journey were found in the environment. She had to go through a series of hills and bad terrain. The part she struggled the most was through the barbed-wire fence. She had to "creep and crawl, spreading her knees and stretching her fingers like a baby trying to climb the steps." The quote shows that she was having a very difficult time in trying to pass the barbed-wire fence. For a very old lady with an extremely long distance to travel, the barbed-wire fence proved to be the most stressful. It seemed like she put all of her effort and strength in able to overcome that obstacle. Phoenix experienced a small triumph toward the end of the story. She took the nickel she received from the young white...
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