“A Worn Path”
In the short story “A Worn Path”, Eudora Welty tells of Phoenix who is living during a time period of racial discrimination, prejudice, and segregation. Phoenix Jackson is a very frail African American woman whose eyes are blue of age; her skin is stained with patterns of countless wrinkles telling of her hardworking years, her face is worn and tired but illuminated a golden ray of light. The story tells of Phoenix slowly strolling down a threadbare road making her way to town for her ailing grandson, who needs pain killers for his throat. Despite the many obstacles that arise and Phoenix is faced with, she strives forward depending on her own perseverance, but willing to sacrifice her health throughout the long journey. Phoenix sets out during daybreak and doesn’t make it to town until half way through the day. When she finally arrives at the clinic, Phoenix is once again put up with another challenge that slows her down further. The clinic is two stories high; the first floor is for whites only and the upper level blacks. She makes her way up the long, narrow staircase and into the doctor’s office when then she is asked her purpose for coming. Standing dumbfounded and exhausted from her long journey, she could not remember why she has come all this way. A friendly and kind nurse, who knew Phoenix, came to her assistance, and after inquiring about her grandson, gave the pain medicine that was promised to Phoenix. Phoenix then turns around and starts her long, treacherous journey home.
There are many conflicts that arise in this story. One of the key elements that are displayed in this story is conflict with oneself. Phoenix is an elderly lady, who is traveling this long path at the expense of someone else. When she arrives at the doctor’s office, she is in amazement that she has forgotten her purpose for going after this trip that has taken up most of her day. She is battling her age and what her age brings along. This...
Cited: Welty, Eudora. “A Worn Path.” American Literature. Vol. 2. Ed. Williams E. Cain. New York: Pearson Education Inc. 2004. 763- 768 Print.
Welty, Eudora. "Eudora Welt 'ys "A Worn Path"." . YouTube, 1998. Web. 15 Mar 2012. .
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