“A Worn Path” is a novel by Eudora Welty. The points of analysis will explore the theme, examples of symbolism and the message or purpose Eudora Welty was trying to convey in the story.
This story is set in Mississippi during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Although this was decades after the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of southern slaves, people in Mississippi were still suffering from the negative social and economic consequences the war brought.
The story has many themes. A theme worth noting is the perseverance and power Phoenix Jackson has. The story’s title, A Worn Path, alludes to thepathPhoenixhas walked many times before to Natchez to get medicine for her sickgrandson. Another thing the title also alludes to is the idea of lifePhoenix’s life in particularIt is seen as a journey that is made by repeated passage through and endurance of the world around her, and suggests that such endurance has a slow power that will ultimately leave behind a mark or path through that world.
Now we will explore one of the many examples of symbolism. An example can be seen in the story’s title. The story can be thought of as a kind of road trip.Seems like there is chains about my feet, time I get this farSomething always takes a hold of me on this hill”pleads I should stay. (Welty, E. (2012). A Worn Path Prentice Hall:Literature, Grade 10, Part 2, Common Core Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. (pp.848-856). Retrieved fromhttps://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781256493914)
Phoenix’stravels are spread over many kinds of surfaces, from sand, to wagon trails, to sidewalks. She also encounters many obstacles along her path, from the thorns to the stream crossing, a racist hunter,a scarecrow, and the lone dog. Some of the obstacles are foreseen; and most were surprises to her.
In this essay we analyzed how Eudora Welty’s A Worn Path explores the theme of perseverance and an example of symbolism from the story. The moral that readers can take from the story is that love can become so deeply ingrained in the human heart that it becomes a habit that exists beyond conscious thought or reason. That unselfish love inspires courage, compassion, and sacrifice. And finally how the human spirit can endure, despite the forces of nature and society that would destroy it.
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