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Hardships in A Worn Path Essay


Eudora Weltys A worn Path talks about a elderly black woman by the name of Phoenix Jackson. Phoenix travels through the pinewoods all alone with her small cane and eyes blue with age. She encounters many hardships including disrespect. Phoenix does have a goal during her journey and it was to get medicine for her grandson because he swallowed lye. The theme of the story was that Phoenix would go through many hardships, disrespect, and loneliness for the love of her grandson.

One major hardship would be that Phoenix is most likely blind. In the story Eudora implies, Her eyes were blue with age, and She carried a thin, small cane made from an umbrella, and with this she kept tapping the frozen earth in front of her. The fact that Phoenix is tapping the frozen earth in front of her tells us that she has to be substantially visually impaired. Phoenix, at this state of blindness should not be taking a journey through the pinewoods but because of the love of her grandson she does. She just stays focus and keeps her mind on her goal. Another hardship Phoenix faces due to her old age is senility. For instance, But she sat down to rest, 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. That would be acceptable, she said. But when she went to take it there was just her own hand in the air. This indicated that Phoenix was just hallucinating due to her old age. But still Phoenix does not let her old age and hardships keep her down because she loves her grandson and is determined to get the medicine and get it to him.

Phoenix also encounters other hardships during her journey such as weather. It was December, a bright frozen day in the early morning. She refuses though to let the weather interfere with her journey. She cares nothing about the season, just the illness of her grandson that she loves and would do anything for. She didnt even let deadly snakes or animals keep her from seeking the medicine needed for her beloved grandson.

During her long journey, Phoenix has three exchanges with people and everyone she meets is white. Each one treated her with that same disrespect, but she looked pass them and stayed focus on her goal. The first person she encounters was the hunter who pulled her out of the ditch she had fallen in. He disrespects her by continuously calling her granny, asking her age, lying to her, etc.

The second person she encounters is a random woman who she nicely asked to tie her shoe. The woman rudely responded with, What do you want, grandma? It was Christmas time so I think that was the reason why she tied Phoenixs shoe. Phoenix still doesnt let this bring her down.

Lastly, Phoenix arrives at her destination and is greeted rudely. She thinks that she has seen Phoenix before and demanded Phoenix to speak up and give her personal information. She asked Phoenix was she deaf as she took a moment to respond and the nurse identifies Phoenix as Old aunt Phoenix. The nurse also gets frustrated with Phoenix and her memory loss. All of the disrespect in the doctors office is trying to show Phoenix that she must pay in order for her grandson to be healthy. She knows that if she doesnt get the medicine that he is going to die and she loves him too much to allow that occur.

Phoenix also suffers loneliness during her journey. For instance she moves like the pendulum in a grandfather clock, which steadily marks time alone. The beginning of the story simply explains the loneliness of Phoenix in many ways. Phoenix herself says that she is walking in the sleep of the abandoned cabins and trees with dead leaves. This path that she walked through to get to her grandson was cold, deadly, and lonely. She probably wouldnt even take a path like this one if it wasnt for her grandson she loved so much.

Phoenix goes through a lot during her journey all because of her ill grandson. She faces multiple hardships, disrespect, and loneliness but she survived. She always remembered her goal and purpose and never gave up. I understood that she loved her grandson dearly and would do and go through anything she had to for his health and life.

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