Eudora Welty A Worn Path Essays

Eudora Welty A Worn Path Essays-85
As she walks, she struggles against intense fatigue and poor eyesight, as well as such obstacles as thorn bushes and barbed wire.

As she walks, she struggles against intense fatigue and poor eyesight, as well as such obstacles as thorn bushes and barbed wire.

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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.

For example, she mistakes a scarecrow for a dancing "ghost" until she draws close enough to touch its empty sleeve.

A particularly tense episode occurs when she encounters a white hunter who appears friendly at first, but then makes a condescending suggestion that she is probably "going to town to see Santa Claus." When he inadvertently drops a nickel, Phoenix distracts him and manages to pick it up, feeling that she is stealing as she does so.

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.Because the story is completely free of authorial intrusion or explanatory commentary, the images and events that occur in the narrative remain open to a variety of reader interpretations. ." The note of simplicity thus struck is the keynote of Eudora Welty's artistic design in the story. SOURCE: A review of "A Worn Path" in The Explicator, Vol. Her arduous journey from her home, far out in the country, to the town of Natchez to help her ailing little grandson, is a journey of love, Jones suggests, that causes her own rejuvenation at its end. [In the following essay, Ardolino attempts "to demonstrate that along with the Christian motifs of rebirth, the cycles of natural imagery presented create the theme of life emerging from death [in 'A Worn Path']."] Although most critics of "A Worn Path" noting the story's careful blending of pagan myth, Christian allusion and folk story motifs have praised Eudora Welty's allusive technique of reinforcing meanings on the story's several levels of perception, they have nevertheless been divided in their assessment of its overall... "] "A Worn Path" has received a fair amount of critical attention, most of it presuming that Eudora Welty intended her protagonist, Aunt Phoenix Jackson, to be "a symbol of the immortality of the Negro's spirit of endurance," as Alfred Appel puts it [in A Season of Dreams: The Fiction of Eudora Welty, 1965]. SOURCE: "Love's Habit of Vision in Welty's Phoenix Jackson," in Journal of the Short Story in English, No. SOURCE: "From Civil War to Civil Rights: Race Relations in Welty's 'A Worn Path'," in Eudora Welty: Eye of the Storyteller, edited by Dawn Trouard, The Kent State University Press, 1989, pp. [In the following essay, Butterworth argues that "recent revisionist criticism . " Butterworth emphasizes the ambiguity that characterizes Welty's treatment of racial themes.] Since such seminal studies as Robert Penn Warren's "The Love and Separateness in Miss Welty" and Harry Morris's "Eudora Welty's Use of Mythology," it has become traditional to interpret Welty's characters in... " She further notes that "the story plays upon our 'knowledge ' of 'others ' to resist the 'wornness' of old scripts."] Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path," first published in 1941, is one of her most widely read stories. SOURCE: "'A Worn Path': The Eternal Quest of Welty's Phoenix Jackson," in The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 71, 1963], Neil Isaacs manages to conclude that "the whole... Reprints in one volume the most significant critical essays on Welty's short fiction. "Phoenix Jackson and the Nice Lady: A Note on Eudora Welly's 'A Worn Path'." American Notes & Queries XVII, No. Examines the thematic significance of a specific episode in which Phoenix Jackson asks "a nice lady" to tie her boot laces. "'A Worn Path': The Way of Dispossession." Studies in Short Fiction 16, No. Critical Reception Critical discussion of "A Worn Path" largely has been concerned with thematic interpretation of the work, particularly the story's racial, mythological, and Christian motifs. ," "Her name was Phoenix Jackson," "She was very old and small. For it is a simple story (a common reaction is "simply beautiful"). SOURCE: "'A Worn Path' Retrod," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. But perhaps her association with the Phoenix has even... SOURCE: "Life and Death in Eudora Welty's 'A Worn Path'," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. SOURCE: '"Unsettling Every Definition of Otherness': Another Reading of Eudora Welty's 'A Worn Path'," in South Atlantic Review, Vol. SOURCE: "Gothic Space as Narrative Technique," in Gothic Traditions and Narrative Techniques in the Fiction of Eudora Welty, Louisiana State University Press, 1994, pp. [In the following excerpt, Weston examines evidence of the Gothic tradition in "A Worn Path."] It is not nature that is the spirit of healing in "A Worn Path," but human love and endurance, in spite of a world that might seem Gothic to those less grounded in reality than is Phoenix Jackson. The author uses great symbolism “The use of symbolic characters throughout the story is explained.The author provides a critical interpretation and offers different meaning behind several elements.” (Cited in Clugston, 2010) Phoenix is faced with getting old and losing her mind, she is very afraid of it, but still carries on with the strength of God with her.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 declares that he is not dead, receives the medicine for him, along with another nickel, with which she decides to buy him a Christmas present—a "little windmill." Major Themes Phoenix Jackson emerges in "A Worn Path" as a character who endures; she is the symbol of perseverance, stamina, and life in the face of hardship and death.Commentators have noted that her sheer fortitude in making the long journey on foot and alone points to these qualities, as does the mythological significance of her name, Phoenix—an Egyptian bird symbolizing resurrection.The Theme of “A Worn Path” Charlotte Schroeder Ashford University 03/04/2013 ENG 125 Instructor Abby Forster In the short story “A Worn Path”, the author Eudora Welty, created a strong theme of undying love with an old woman and her grandson.The main character in this story is called Phoenix; she is an old woman that is narrated from the author trying to make a long journey down a worn path to bring her sick grandson medicine.


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