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Symbolic Explanations in A Worn Path by Eudora Welty Essay

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“A Worn Path” is a story about an African American woman named Phoenix Jackson who travels through the wilderness and faces obstacles to get medicine for her grandson who is ill. In the short story “A Worn Path” Eudora Welty used a manifold of literary techniques in order to convey a deeper meaning of her story. Although there were multiple techniques used, symbolism was the most used and overbearing in the passage. Symbolism is the use of objects or characters that are used to represent something greater such as an idea or event in history.
The first symbol is the character Phoenix Jackson herself. Her name is a mythical bird in Egyptian Mythology that represented power and strength. The mythical bird lived for five-hundred years then died in flames and from the ashes the phoenix was reborn. Phoenix Jackson was an elderly woman who was the only person who could get the medicine for her grandson. She endured the cold of winter to get to the town doctor. Phoenix pushed herself using every ounce of her strength to travel across “Natchez trace” she selflessly risked her life. The elderly woman was far too weak to make the trip “she was very old and small and she walked slowly” and “Her eyes were blue with age”, but Phoenix was determined to continue on and get the medicine for her ill grandson. She showed strength and determination by traveling the far distance for someone in need. Phoenix’s Grandson could be viewed as the rebirth of the phoenix. He is Phoenix’s only known relative in the passage and is an extension of phoenix herself. Phoenix Jackson was at an age which death can come at any moment once she passes the only person to continue her family line would be the grandson.
The White hunter was another symbol used to repres...


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... used to represent the celebration of Phoenix arriving at her destination Natchez, Mississippi.
In conclusion the literary techniques used by Eudora Welty were insightful and creative. However the most Overbearing and repeated was symbolism. The symbols used were used to represent many of the issues Black Americans had experienced after the Civil War up until the 1960s. Many symbols represented significant ideas and laws.




Works Cited

Cummingsstudyguides “ A Worn Path study guide” Cummingstudyguides.com N.P.n.d. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Noelle. M.” Symbolism in Eudora Welty’s A Worn Path .“ Studymode.com N.P., n.d. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Welty, Eudora “ A Worn Path” Heritage of American Literature. Ed. James E. Miller. 2nd ed. Austin: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991, 1274. Print.

123 Help me Editors “symbols in A Worn Path” 123Helpme.com. N.P., N.D. Web. 17 Mar 2014.



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