“A Worn Path”
Eudora Welty is a famous southern writer who started her career during the Great Depression. In many cases, aspects of an author’s stories usually come from their own experiences or are directly reflected by what is going on in the world at that time. It is evident in her short story “A Worn Path” that it is set during times of economic hardship. In this story the main character Phoenix Jackson, “Grandma”, goes on a journey that takes her through the dark pine shadows of the woods, through a withered cotton fields and fields of dead corn, down a ravine and through swampy meadows. (Paragraphs 1, 17, 21, 31) This long, vigorous journey will be all worth it because Phoenix is traveling to the nearest city to obtain medication for her sick grandson. The determination of this elderly woman is inspiring in many ways. She is willing to endure the harsh winter weather and go the distance to try and help her grandson.
In the story “A Worn Path” Phoenix Jackson is the sole main character. There are a few very minor characters in the story: including the Hunter, the Doctor and the doctor’s assistant. It is made very clear from the beginning of the story that Phoenix is an elderly black woman; the author describes her appearance in great detail. “Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles and as though a whole little tree stood in the middle of her forehead, but a golden color ran underneath, and the two knobs of her cheeks were illuminated by a yellow burning under the dark. Under the rag her hair came down on her neck in the frailest of ringlets, still black, and with an odor like copper.” (Paragraph 2) The author draws a clear picture of Phoenix Jackson’s appearance with this very descriptive paragraph. Not only are we able to tell that she is elderly by the author’s description of her appearance, we can also tell by how slowly she moves and the fact that she needs a cane. Another way it is apparent...
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