A Worn Path: Phoenix Jackson


Literary critic Jonathan Yardley once wrote about Eudora Welty, "Reading her best work, one peels off layer after layer of mood and meaning, each more subtle and more difficult to find than its predecessor." Her short story entitled "A Worn Path" is no exception. Since its arrival critics and readers alike have analyzed and asked questions pertaining to the main character Phoenix Jackson. Welty never thoroughly explains the character, but she gives subtle clues to suggest the persona of Phoenix Jackson. These subtle clues imply that Phoenix Jackson was a pathetic literary figure.
"A Worn Path" is a story about an old Negro women's pointless journey to the doctor in order to get ...

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her and a slice of cake. As Phoenix begins to reach for the slice of cake, the boy vanishes. The young boy is merely a figment of her imagination Confused and disoriented, she continues her journey. This particular incidents suggest that she is senile and instantly gains her pathetic sympathy with the readers.
Another example of her being senile follows shortly after. She continues walking when she views a ghost. This view further credits the idea that she is senile, but it also gives a glimpse of her lack of education. Phoenix has no formal education and is taken by the myths of ghost and superstitions. This a realistic fact but also a pathetic one.
The last examples suggesting that Phoenix is senile, occurs in the doctor's office. She arrives at the office and is greeted with a barrage of questions until another nurse recognizes her. The nurse stated that "Aunt Phoenix" makes these trips like clockwork. This could imply that she is either very forgetful or has not ...

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"A Worn Path: Phoenix Jackson." Essayworld.com. November 15, 2005. Accessed October 23, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/A-Worn-Path-Phoenix-Jackson/36501.
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Added: 11/15/2005 07:37:38 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 698
Pages: 3

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