A Worn Path Essay, Research Paper
“A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, is the tale of the unstoppable love and care of a grandmother for her grandchild. The conflict on this short story is how can love can break barriers. The love of Phoenix for her grandchild would make it travel a long A Worn Path journey, even she would put in danger her own life because of her old age. Survival plays a big role on this tale against love.
The description of Phoenix Jackson at the beginning of this story gives a clear glimpse of how difficult this trip is going to be for an elderly woman such as her. The description “Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin has a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles” are indications of Phoenix Jackson’s old age. She supports herself with a cane, striving not to fall with every step she takes. This just adds to her difficulties. When she says “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites”, she is determined to go down that path despite anything that might come between her and getting the medicine for her grandson. This shows that her body may be worn out, but the attitude that she takes and desire that she has in order to get the medicine for her grandson are not.
Eventually, when the hunter and his dog find her laid over the ditch, he also tries to prevent her from finishing her journey. He tells her that she is too old, and even tries to scare her with his gun. At that point the man says, “you must be a hundred years old, and scared of nothing…you take my advice and stay home, and nothing will happen to you.” Not even these words from the hunter could make Phoenix give up, always getting herself out of a predicament, and having her grandson as a reason to keep going.
When Phoenix reaches her destination, the reason for her mission is given. When she enters “the big building”, evidently a medical facility, she doesn’t speak and appears disoriented. A nurse recognizes her and inquires about her grandson who is going to die soon. She asks, “He isn’t dead, is he?” Phoenix responds with, “No missy, he not dead, he just the same.” She tells the nurse “he not able to swallow. He not gets his breath. So the time come around, and I go on another trip for the soothing medicine.”
Phoenix Jackson encounters many adversities along her journey, but somehow manages to get through them. Her perseverance in the face of tremendous obstacles is admirable considering her age and declining health. This is the proof that she truly loves her grandson, and that she is determined to overcome any obstacle to achieve her goal. The only thing that keeps her from giving up is the love she has for him and the fact that all