A worn path study guide. What is the setting of "A Worn Path"? 2023-01-01
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"A Worn Path" is a short story written by Eudora Welty in 1941. The story follows an elderly African American woman as she makes a journey through the woods to a doctor's office to retrieve medicine for her sick grandson. Along the way, she encounters a white man who tries to stop her, but she persists in her mission.
The story has been widely anthologized and studied due to its themes of love, determination, and racial inequality. Here is a study guide for "A Worn Path":
The setting of "A Worn Path" is significant in terms of the story's themes. The journey through the woods can be seen as a metaphor for the struggles and challenges that the protagonist, the elderly woman, faces in her life. The path itself is worn, indicating the many times she has made the journey before, and the obstacles she has overcome.
The relationship between the elderly woman and her grandson is central to the story. The love and devotion the woman has for her grandson drives her to make the journey, even though it is difficult and dangerous. This love is demonstrated through the woman's actions, as she willingly sacrifices her own well-being for the sake of her grandson.
The encounter with the white man serves as a reminder of the racial inequalities present in the time period in which the story is set. The man attempts to stop the woman from continuing on her journey, using his race as a means of exerting power over her. However, the woman persists in her mission, demonstrating her strength and determination.
The theme of determination is also evident in the woman's perseverance in the face of obstacles. Despite the difficulties she faces, she remains steadfast in her mission to retrieve the medicine for her grandson. This determination is ultimately what allows her to succeed in her task.
"A Worn Path" also touches upon themes of love and sacrifice. The elderly woman's love for her grandson motivates her to make the journey and endure the challenges she faces. This love is also demonstrated through her willingness to sacrifice her own well-being for the sake of her grandson.
In conclusion, "A Worn Path" is a poignant and moving story that touches upon themes of love, determination, and racial inequality. Through the journey of the elderly woman, the story showcases the strength and resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
What is the setting of "A Worn Path"?
Another obstacle that Phoenix faces is the fact that she drifts in and out of shared reality. As she does, she imagines she sees a small boy appearing before her holding a slice of marble-cake on a plate. Her sympathy for the people she saw suffering both from the Great Depression and from continuing racial oppression is manifest in her photographs. She is moving slowly along her path, with a balance of heaviness and lightness in her steps that suggest a concentrated effort. There are several things in the story that bear this comparison out.
When the path starts to run uphill, Phoenix complains that it feels as chains are around her feet, but still she presses on. Along the way, Phoenix encounters several obstacles and the story becomes a quest for her to overcome the trials she faces, which mirror her plight in society at large. On she marches through some areas that have no path at all. And finally too, like Phoenix, you have to assume that what you are working in aid of is life. The story is one of the best examples of Welty's writing, which is known for its realistic portrayal of the American South, particularly during the depression. Only when she touches it does she realize it is not a real man. Once on the other side, she makes her way through a cornfield complete with buzzards and a scarecrow.
Initially, the hunter seems kind. Holding them both in her hand, Phoenix announces she is going to use the ten cents to buy a paper windmill as a Christmas present for her grandson. The most conspicuous danger for Phoenix is, of course, the white hunter. The trials and obstacles of the journey, which Phoenix recognizes as such, reflect the sometimes random and unfair travails of her life. The journey has been a literary device since ancient Greek times when Homer wrote The Odyssey, How is Phoenix Jackson's walk through the woods similar to Odysseus's seven-year journey home after the Trojan War? Setting generally comprises both time and place.
She has every reason to believe she is being haunted by a man dancing in a dead field where he might have been killed. She is no longer the graceful writer of her path. Given what Phoenix has seen in her lifetime, these initial visions are powerful. The story won an O. She manages to take it when he is distracted by his dog, and slips it into her apron pocket. Phoenix thinks, understandably, that as the road itself gets easier the journey will be easier, but as it turns out as she moves deeper into the more populated areas of Mississippi things get more difficult. There sat a buzzard.
She reaches inside the scarecrow and finds the coat empty. She makes it over a log, through a maze, and through a swamp. The old woman takes it and then removes the nickel she put into her apron after the white hunter dropped it. She tries to reach up and, finding no one, just waits. She meets a hunter, pocketing a nickel that he drops, and a lady who ties her shoes. His last words are warning her to go back home and stay out of harm, but she is determined to fulfill her mission.
Therefore, Welty had to find a way both to take the reader inside the mind of a person significantly less educated than herself while not limiting her own ability to write about that person in a way reflective of that intelligence. Closing her eyes at the bridge underscores her faith in a higher being who will watch and protect her, as well as her own memory or inner strength over her outward senses and abilities. Phoenix would certainly not talk using such lofty language and it is equally doubtful she would write that way. The difficulty of her as yet unexplained journey is made clear in the way something—her body, her mind — pleads that she stop. This section contains 179 words approx.
Not just any literary point of view, either, but the one that probably is the most difficult for readers to identify. At the end of the story Phoenix procures life-giving medicine and saves her grandson; she is often seen as Moses, who paved the way for Christ. The first obstacle that stops Phoenix in her path is the thorny bush. When she sits next to the creek, she has her first dream that a boy is bringing her slice of marble-cake. The hunter is representative of the Jim Crow South, and the ways in which Black men and women were subject to the capricious kindness of white people, which could turn violent at any moment. She sees a white woman in the street carrying Christmas presents, and asks her if she will tie her shoelaces for her. When she moves further into the corn field, she sees the black scarecrow, who she first mistakes for a Black man and then for a ghost.
Instead he tells her to keep to her place in society—in her rural home. It is festooned with Christmas decorations and lights. In December a very old black woman walks slowly through a pine forest. Once she reaches the top of the hill she rests only a moment to look at what is spread out before her. GradeSaver, 6 November 2019 Web. But each time she succeeds another part of her dress gets caught. When asked why she is here, Phoenix does not respond, leading the attendant to rudely question if she is deaf.