“A Worn Path” The setting in the Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” plays a very important role in the make-up of this story. The story is based in the old south several years ago during the cold month of December. The main character is a very old, weak, poor, and tired African American woman. It is unclear in the beginning for what the lady is on such a difficult mission, but the last part of the story makes it clear. She faces many obstacles while on her journey, almost as though even nature is fighting against her, but with her strong determination, she carries on and does not lose spirit.
She proves that, though she is old and seems unable, she accomplished her goal with the great mindset and determination she has. The journey Phoenix faces would have been difficult for a person of any age, and it is unimaginable that a woman as old and frail as she would be physically capable of making such a long journey. All of the obstacles she faces in the story, such as the creatures, critters, even plants, serve as symbols of things that can interfere throughout life, but one must continue the struggle and fight for the goals they are trying to accomplish.
There are many times that you expect her to give up and go home, but she never does. She keeps pushing until she has reached her goal of making it to town to get the medicine she is after. Phoenix is from the country and must walk a very long distance to make it to the nearest town. Had the story been set somewhere else, there would not have been such a struggle with Phoenix going to the doctor’s office to receive the medicine she needs for her grandson. The main part of the story is when she is fighting so hard to make it through the long, winding journey through the woods.
This is where most of her struggle takes place. The reader really gets an opportunity to see how hard Phoenix’s mission is and to what extent she will go to get to the doctor. It is very clear that Phoenix is poor, uneducated, and very unfortunate. She wears old and worn out clothing, must beg for the ten cents that she needs to purchase a paper windmill for her grandson, has old shoes that she does not know how to tie, and uses an old umbrella as a walking cane. Her grandson is not any more fortunate than she.
She most likely comes from a poor and uneducated family and has never seemed to have anything nice or unnecessary. This makes it obvious to the reader that every little thing Phoenix has must have such a great value to her. She must appreciate everything in her life. It does not sound as though Phoenix will be able to make the trip many more times, if even one more time. Her body and mind are both exhausted. When Phoenix reaches the doctor’s office, the nurse is speaking to her and she forgets what she has come to town for. Phoenix’s body is very frail and tired.
There were times she fell during her walk through the woods, and her mind continued to go downhill quickly. This is a sure sign that she will not be capable of such things in the future. Phoenix is stubborn, yet a strong woman who will not let anyone or anything stand in her way. Many people could read this story and think less of her for begging and her lack of education and money, but many who read it will feel her pain because it is clear she is hurting terribly both physically and mentally with the challenges she faces. She shows, strength, bravery, and love for her grandson.
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