“A Worn Path “
ENG 125 Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Katie Newbanks
The Worn Path
In the short story, “ A Worn Path “ written by Eudora Welty it can be interpreted that Phoenix Jackson is suffering from dementia or some other form of mental illness, and that her grandson that she so lovingly speaks of has been deceased for some time. The analytical approach that was used to enhance this reading was the Reader Response Approach. While reading the story of Phoenix Jackson, a distinct emotional feeling engulfed me that something was not quite right, especially with Phoenix. I connected with her almost immediately and feared for her safety throughout the story, especially when the hunter pointed his gun at her. The story described that day as being a frozen December day, yet no mention of Phoenix wearing a coat is depicted. Example: She wore a dark striped dress reaching down to her shoe tops, and an equally long apron of bleached sugar sacks, with a full pocket. (Clugston, R.W.) The elderly are especially vulnerable to the cold weather due to the thinning of their blood that occurs with the advancement of age. ( nih.gov.) She would have surely donned a coat before beginning her journey, had she been in her correct mental facilities. Also, Phoenix was talking to animals that she believed to be nearby as if they could understand her. Example: “ Sleep on alligators and blow your bubbles.” ( Clugston, R.W.) The grandson that she speaks with such devotion is already deceased and probably has been for quite some time. As Phoenix was walking through the forest she created an apparition in her own mind of a little boy. This was symbolic of her love for this child being so great that she conjured him up in her mind. Example: She did not dare close her eyes and when a little boy brought her a plate with a slice of marble cake on it she spoke to...
References: Clugston, R.W. (2010) Journey into Literature , San Diego, CA. Bridgeport Education, Inc.
http: www. nih.gov/news/health/jan2009/nia-16.htm.
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