A Worn Path: Themes Of A Story

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Eudora Welty born 13 April 1909 and died 23 July 2001, both in Jackson, Mississippi. Welty went to Mississippi State College before she transferred to the University of Wisconsin. Her first short story was published in 1936. Before her book won, she worked at a radio station in Jackson, Mississippi. Even after she passed away and still to this day, all of her short stories and works were humorous and had some speech patterns. In the Great Depression era, Welty was a photographer on the Works Progress Administration Guide to Mississippi, after that photography stayed a lifelong hobby. In her native town of Jackson, Mississippi, she worked for both a radio station and 2 newspaper stations, shortly before she was awarded the popular and critical acclaim. In 1936 Welty’s first short story was released, after that her works were regularly seen in magazines and newspapers (Welty).

This is the journey of a black woman named Phoenix Jackson who had to walk a long journey into Natchez from her hometown in rural Mississippi to get her grandson medicine. She Begins her journey along a country path through some pine trees. She is alone except for the forest animals that she hears and sees and occasionally talks to. After she passes through the pines, she goes through oak trees and gets her dress caught on a thorny bush. It’s tense, but she is able to free herself without tearing her dress.Next she encounters a creek with a log laid across it as a bridge. Piece of cake if you’re a young gymnast, a little bit tricky if you’re an old woman walking with a cane fashioned from an umbrella. She makes it just fine, though. Phoenix sits down for a rest after crossing the creek and she imagines that a little boy brings her a piece of cake. The next phases of her journey include crawling under a barbed wire fence, walking through a cotton field that’s dying off for the winter, and passing through a field of dead corn where she mistakes a scarecrow for a ghost. Phoenix laughs at her mistake, and chalks it up to old age. Then comes what Phoenix considers to be the easy part, She follows the wagon tracks through the fields of the easy part to a ravine where she stops for a drink of water and then she passes through the swampy part.

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A big black dog leaps out of the weeds and knocks Phoenix over. She can’t get up on her own, but a hunter passes by and lifts her up. The hunter asks Phoenix about her age, where she is coming from, and where she is going. He marvels at the distance she has traveled and thinks she wants to go to town to see Santa Claus because it is Christmas time. Phoenix tells the black dog to attack the hunter and his dog. The hunter tries to scare the black dog away by unleashing his own dog and by shooting his gun after the dog. The hunter laughs at being able to scare him. While the hunter is preoccupied with the dogs, Phoenix spots a nickel on the ground. Phoenix knows it is not hers but takes it regardless. The hunter points his gun at Phoenix, but she is not afraid. He says he would give her a dime if he had any money and then advises her to go home, but she continues on.

Phoenix finally arrives in the city of Natchez. Phoenix asks a woman shopper to tie her shoes because she can’t lace them herself. She thinks the dragging laces aren’t appropriate for going into a city building. No one likes to be underdressed.Phoenix walks up the steps of a big building and the attendant takes one look at her and thinks that she is a charity case. The attendant tries with no luck to get information about Phoenix and what she wants. A nurse recognizes Phoenix as a woman who visits the facility on a regular basis to get medicine for her grandson. The nurse asks how the boy’s throat is. Phoenix does not answer her questions, prompting the nurse to ask if the boy has died. Phoenix finally answers that the boy has not died, but that the time has come back around for her to retrieve the medicine that will heal his throat. The nurse gives her the medicine, marking it down as charity in a record book. As Phoenix leaves the attendant gives her a nickel because it is Christmas time, phoenix considers the two nickels that she now has and decides to buy her grandson a paper windmill with the money and desperately heads back to her home (Welty).

As the old woman begins her journey on an early morning in December she comes across an older white hunter he urges her to return home, he laughs: I know you old colored people Wouldn’t miss going to town to see Santa Claus The hunter calls Phoenix ‘Granny,’ unaware that her grandson’s distress has caused her to climb hills, tangle with a thorn bush, creep through a barbed-wire fence, and face the trial of crossing a creek on a log with her eyes shut and her slender cane leveled fiercely before her. I find this to be a very mysterious threshold between dream and waking in several of Welty’s experiences and Phoenix’s obstacles include a confrontation with a ghost that turns out to be a scarecrow, a hallucinatory visitation from a boy the medicine that awaits her in the doctor’s office, at the top of a ‘tower of steps,’ has the almost magical power to restore breath to the small boy, whose throat closes up every once in awhile.

Phoenix exhibits a distinctively feminine version heroism from women’s roles as guardians of children men’s quests, on the other hand, involve battles for dominance and are concerned with self definition. Welty contrasts the old woman with the white hunter who helps her out of a ditch but proves the most vicious impediment in her path who offers her a slice of cake, and that she is walking in the sleep of old women under a spell (Makowsky).

“ A Worn Path ” has many themes, love, immorality, and charity. Love being a simple theme to compare, relate, and analyze a real world example. In “ A Worn Path ” uses love with Phoenix and her grandson on how she walks the long journey to get him medicine, because she will do anything and everything to care for him and to protect him at all cost. A real world example of love can be The CNN 10 Hero by the name of Naja Mazie. She recently opened a homeless shelter in Detroit, Michigan, she mainly targets homeless mothers and they’re children.

She takes these wonderful people in and she teaches them how to do tasks used in everyday life such as teaching them how to cook, how to sew, and even get a highschool diploma and go to college. Naja and the rest of her team are preachers and doctors who practice their religion openly to shelter. The biggest goal that the shelter has is to express love in every situation that they encounter no matter what the results of the situation. 


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