The story is about an older women named Phoenix Jackson, who is a poor black women, she is walking through the woods on her way to town and she runs into thorny bushes, a barbed wire fence and a big dog that knocks her down into a ditch. A Hunter comes to help her out and then she continues into town, where she gets medicine for her grandson that she says is still sick. Thorns, you doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir. Old eyes thought you was a pretty little green bush. The theme of this story can be with determination you can overcome every obstacle.
The setting is Christmas time in Natchez, Mississippi, its around the 1930s in the Great Depression era. This contributes to the theme because it was a hard time for everybody and they were facing many obstacles.
The conflicts in the story are
Phoenix Jackson vs. Nature
Obstacles on her way into town
Has to travel through the woods
Phoenix Jackson vs. Racism/Society
Racism was big in that time era (KKK)
The Hunter even says to her Doesn’t the gun scare you?
The good in the world vs. the bad in the world
The stories point of view is Third Person Omniscient because the narrator knows
Phoenix’s thoughts and feelings. With the story being in Third Person we are able to know
more about Phoenix Jackson, she is hardworking, caring and determined to help her
grandson. We don’t know anything about her grandson besides that he is sick. The Hunter
in the story is helpful to Phoenix Jackson, but also somewhat racist. There are a few
smaller characters like the nurse and the black dog.
The tone of the story is sympathetic and hopeful because throughout the story the narrator
seems to admire that Phoenix keeps going along. At last she was safe through the fence
and risen up out in the clearing. this quote shows how the narrator is happy she was safe.
Another quote that shows that the narrator admires Phoenix is, She lifted her free hand,
gave a little nod, turned around, and walked out of the doctor’s office. Then her slow step
began on the stairs, going down.
There is in the story, an example of situational irony is when the nurse asks if Phoenix is a
charity case, this is ironic because Phoenix is not a charity case and is stealing money
from the nurse and the Hunter. Another example of situational irony is when the Hunter
says I’d give you a dime if I had any money with me. this is ironic because the Hunter did
give her a dime when it fell out of his pocket, he just didn’t realize it.
The hunter symbolizes racism the marble cake that she dreams of, She did not dare to close her eyes, and when a little boy brought her a plate with a slice of marble-cake on it she spoke to him. symbolizes a blending of blacks and whites. The paper windmill she plans to buy her grandson symbolizes the good in the world. The black dog that knocks her over symbolizes the bad in the world, like enemies and people who just want to knock you down.
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