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Challenges in A Worn Path Essay


The short story A Worn Path written by Eudora Walty was very interesting. The short story is about an elderly black woman name Phoenix Jackson that walks from her home to the city of Natchez. She is taking such a long journey for her grandsons medicine. Her grandson has been died for several years. While on her journey, Phoenix encounters a few challenges: elderly, old timers, and a charity case.

First, throughout the short story A Worn Path, Phoenix is challenged for being an elderly black woman. For example, while crossing the maize field, she thinks she sees a man walking across the field, but didnt know that it was a scarecrow until she touches it. Her eye sight is very poor, and has turned blue with age. Phoenix walks with a cane that was made from a broken umbrella, and with it, she walks from side to side. Also while she was on her journey, she meets a hunter. The hunter refers to her as granny, from her appearance. He also advised her to return home because she was walking such a long distance.

Next, Phoenix has to deal with old timers. Throughout the short story, she was very forgetful and she imagines things. For example, when Phoenix was in the doctor office, she forgot why she was there. She also doesnt know what age she is. Another example would be that Phoenix doesnt remember that her grandson died several years ago. While setting under a tree to rest her feet, she imagines a little boy brought her a plate with a slice of marble-cake on it. When she went to take it, there was just her own hand in the air. Phoenix is just living her life, the best way she knows with her memory condition.

Finally, Phoenix seems to be known as a charity case. In the short story, people have been doing good deeds just because she is a poor, old, black woman. When people see here, they think shes a charity case. For example, in the forest I believe the hunter dropped a nickel on purpose. The hunter also whispered, if he had a dime, he would give it to her. Another example would be when the nurse gives Phoenix the medicine, and mark it as charity in the book. Before leaving the doctors office, she was offered a few pennies, but need a nickel. She needs the money to buy her dead grandson a paper windmill from the store.

In conclusion, the short story The Worn Path, had a symbolic meaning that can be university felt. I would have to consider Phoenix as a hero. She was a poor, old, black woman who fought to help her grandson. While on her journey, she had bad eye sight, walked with a cane, and was poor. On her journey, she a very brave and did not let anything turn her around.

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