A Worn Path Study Guide

A Worn Path

A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

In "A Worn Path", an old woman named Phoenix Jackson is walking through the woods into town. On her way she encounters many obstacles, including thorny bushes, barbed wire, and a large dog, among others. She meets a hunter, pocketing a nickel that he drops, and a lady who ties her shoes. Her reason for going to Natchez is to pick up a supply of medicine for her grandson, who accidentally swallowed lye a few years before. She tells the nurse in the hospital that the damage to his throat never fully heals, and every so often his throat will begin to swell shut. It is Old Phoenix's love for her grandson that causes her to face the trial of the journey to town, every time it is necessary, with no questions asked.

Obstacles faced by Phoenix:

  • Dense forest and wild animals.
  • Walking over hills.
  • Thorny bushes
  • Crossing small creek on log.
  • Barbed wire fence.
  • Cotton field.
  • Scarecrow in corn field.
  • Falling in ditch at the time of beating black dog.
  • Stealing the coin of Whiteman.
  • Being confused at city roads.
  • Walking on stairs of clinic.
  • Being nervous at clinic.
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