The story’s author sets a picture in your head first, “The setting is rural, a cold, early morning in December in the South.” (Cited in Clugston, 2010) The main character is a Negro woman that is an old lady and has been through many life situations. The sun made the pine needles almost too bright to look at, up where the wind rocked. Down in the hollow was morning dove- it was not too late for him.” )Cited in Clugston, 2010, “A Worn Path”, para.The story uses settings to establish many points for the theme and details of wagon tracks used to tell us she is following a familiar path.
According to Alfred Appel, "'A Worn Path' passes far beyond its regionalism because of its remarkable fusion of various elements of myth and legend, which invest the story with a religious meaning that can be universally felt." Plot and Major Characters "A Worn Path" describes the journey of an elderly black woman named Phoenix Jackson who walks from her home to the city of Natchez to get medicine for her sick grandson.
The landscape as Phoenix perceives it becomes a primary focus of the vividly evoked narrative; nature is depicted as alternately beautiful and as an impediment to Phoenix's progress.
As she walks, she struggles against intense fatigue and poor eyesight, as well as such obstacles as thorn bushes and barbed wire.
The combined effects of her old age, her poor vision, and her poetic view of the world heighten the lyricism and symbolism of the narrative.
Frank Ardolino argued for a conflation of mythological and Christian interpretations of the work, showing how "along with the Christian motifs of rebirth, the cycles of natural imagery presented create the theme of life emerging from death." The racial element of "A Worn Path" has also been a subject of critical discussion.
William Jones commented in 1957 that "[t]he main reason that Miss Welty chose a Negro seems to be that only a relatively simple, uncivilized individual is worthy of representing the powerful forces which inspires such love as hers for her grandchild." John R. Focusing predominantly on the story's Christian motifs, Neil D. SOURCE: "Life Out of Death: Ancient Myth and Ritual in Welty's 'A Worn Path'," in Notes on Mississippi Writers, Vol. Although it is justly celebrated for its humorous and inspirational depiction of Phoenix's love and of her clever adaptability in the natural world, even "A Worn Path" contains images of a gothic space... Isaacs viewed Phoenix's Christmas journey as a "religious pilgrimage" with an ironic end that suggests "greed, corruption, cynicism." Also emphasizing Christian themes in the work, Sara Treeman pointed to story's theme of self-sacrifice, noting that the worn path "is worn because this is the symbolic journey made by all who are capable of self-sacrifice, of whom Christ is the archetype." The presence of secular mythology in the text has also been the subject of discussion by such critics as Dan Donlan, who perceived the prominence of the Egyptian myth of the Phoenix in the structure and symbolism of the story. She will not let anything get in her way from completing her mission and will not give up even though she is not a young puppy anymore.She is the last living relative to her young grandson and she keeps strong to fulfill his needs and keep him happy.Christian symbolism is also apparent in the narrative.For example, the fact that the story is set during the Christmas season has led some critics to associate Phoenix's journey with that of a religious pilgrimage; her selfless concern for her grandson is interpreted as representing the true spirit of giving and self-sacrifice. XV, June 1957] has succeeded in completely explicating Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path." Both comment on the associations brought to mind by the first name of Phoenix Jackson... [In the following essay, Robinson focuses on a particular scene in "A Worn Path" that is open to a variety of interpretations and evaluates the plausibility of each.] Since I believe writing and reading are allied skills, I like to give essay assignments that involve careful reading.Cooley, in contrast, argued for a broader social reading of the story, criticizing the sentiment of the work and accusing Welty of failing to "develop her racial portraits with sufficient sensitivity or depth." Nancy K. [In the following review, Jones examines the ways in which "deeper meaning" is contained in the apparently simple language and structure of "A Worn Path. Butterworth responded to Cooley's assessment and others with the observation that "[s]uch polemical demythologizings conflict with Welty's persistent refusal to use fiction as a platform, particularly for political or sociological issues, as well as her downplaying and even disavowal of racial implications in her stories." SOURCE: "Welty's 'A Worn Path'," in The Explicator, Vol. "] Unlike many of Eudora Welty's stories, "A Worn Path" has a deceptively uncomplex organization. [In the following essay, Isaacs examines how plot, setting, and Christian motifs contribute to multiple layers of meaning in "A Worn Path. The major portion of the story simply recounts the journey of an old Negro woman into Natchez at Christmas time to obtain medicine for her grandson. "] The first four sentences of "A Worn Path" contain simple declarative statements using the simple past of the verb "to be": "It was December . Underneath this seemingly naive account lies a persistently annoying suggestion that there is more to the story than appears at a casual reading. SOURCE: "Life for Phoenix," in Sewanee Review, Vol.