A Worn Path: Racial Prejudice Is Rampant and Out of Control

Topics: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path Pages: 3 (997 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In the story A Worn Path, Eudora Welty shows an old woman living in a time period where racial prejudice is rampant and out of control. Phoenix Jackson is a grandmother whose only motivation for living is to nurture her grandson back to health. The strength of love may make people do or say unusual and implausible things. The central idea of this story is that love can empower someone to over come many life-threatening obstacles. The idea is shown when an old woman conquers all odds against her to show her everlasting love for her grandson. Throughout the story Phoenix Jackson has to overcome many types of obstacles that hinder her in her devotion to help her grandson.

One of the main hindrances that stand in her way is the physical aspect of her age as well as the journey. Phoenix Jackson is very weak and feeble because of her old age so that makes her long journey very strenuous. Another physical obstacle is that she has to weave and duck under a barbwire fence. Her feeble body cannot handle such tasks at her age. The third hindrance she must defeat is that she must cross over a log that lay across a creek. This requires concentration, skill, and patients. Even people whom are twice as young as Phoenix have trouble doing such things. Not many other emotional force other then love is strong enough to give power to an old woman who is living only for one reason. She realizes that if she were to die then the fate of her grandson would be damned.

There are also mental obstacles that obstruct Phoenix’s journey. She has to triumph over her weariness because of her old age and her mental fatigue. As she is walking her mind plays tricks on her, such as the time when she is in the field and mistakes the scarecrow for a dark mysterious figure that she is frightened of. Another time is when she talks to herself and the animals in the woods. She tells them not to get in her way because she has a long trip ahead of her. The love that one...
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